New labor law comes into effect.

On July 25th of 2017 the Labor Procedures Reform Law, approved on December 14th of 2015, will come into effect. This law contemplates several important changes in regard to the legal rules applicable to the relations between employers and employees.

 

One of the most important changes contemplated by this law is the reform of the judicial procedures for the handling of labor conflicts between employers and employees. The intent of the reform that has been made is to speed up said procedures so that they may take less time.

Among the points to be highlighted in the reform of these judicial procedures, it should be noted that going forward those workers that earn a monthly income less than the equivalent of two base salaries (852,400.00 colones or USD$1,506.00 as of today) will have free legal counseling provided by the State.

Another of the very important aspects that have included with this reform is the point related to the certificate of termination of the labor relation, that is to be delivered to the workers at the time a labor relation is terminated.

The new article 35 of the Labor Code establishes the following points:

1)- At the time a labor relation is ended, a certificate of termination of the labor relation is to be delivered to the worker in the following cases:

i)- if the worker so requests it;  and

ii)- if the labor relation ends because of a fault attributed to the worker, in which case the delivery of the certificate is mandatory.

2)- The certificate must contain the following information:

i)- date of start and end of the labor relation, and

ii)– the type of work executed by the worker.

3)- If the worker so requests it, the certificate shall also indicate:

i)- the way in which the worker performed his/her work; and

ii)- the reasons for the termination of the labor relation.

4)- If the termination of the labor relation takes place because of a fault attributed to the worker, the certificate shall describe, in a specific, detailed and clear manner, the fact or facts on which the termination is based. The delivery of the certificate will be made personally at the moment of the termination and reception of the certificate shall be documented. If the worker does not want to receive the certificate, the employer will deliver it to the closest office of the Labor Ministry (Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social), or will send it via certified mail to said office, which shall take place no later than ten calendar days after the termination.

An extremely important point is that the facts indicates in the certificate as the cause for the termination of the labor relation will be the only ones that can be judicially argued, if the case ends up in litigation.