Court Rules that Caddies are Employees

The Shilin District Court recently ruled that 42 caddies at the New Tamsui Golf Club were employees of the club’s operator ("the Club"), Tamsui Enterprise, and that the Club's sudden refusal of schedule the caddies for a shift violated the labor contract.  Although the caddies’ requests for overtime and wages were rejected due to a lack of evidence, the Court still held that the Club must pay severance and pensions to the caddies in an amount totaling NTD 29.33 million.
The caddies claimed that they are employees of the Club, and indicated that their work included carrying golf bags and clubs, driving golf carts, and handling other maintenance affairs for the Club.  Also, the caddies are required to comply with the Club's schedule and attendance policies, and to wear uniforms.  However, at the end of August 2018, the Club asked these caddies to sign a contract that denied any employment relationship between the Club and the caddies.  When the caddies refused to do so, the club consequently refused to schedule the caddies for any shifts since 1 September 2018.
The Club argued that there is no employment relationship between the Club and the caddies.  The Club claimed that the caddies are a self-managed group, and the schedule arrangement was decided upon by the caddies’ leader, and the Labor Standards Act should thus not be applied to this case.
The court finally found, however, that the Club's arguments were without merit as the 42 caddies provided their services while they were subordinate to the Club as personnel, economically, and organizationally.  As such, the Court ruled that there exists employment relationships between the caddies and the Club.  The Club can appeal this District Court judgement to the Taiwan High Court.
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