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Thread: Contract Labor

  1. #1
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    Default Contract Labor

    I've searched the forums and have not been able to get the specific info I'm looking for. Can anyone provide a sample of a contract for contract labor in the DR or give specifics on one? I'd like to eventually hire Dominicans in the DR as contract labor only in an attempt to avoid the employee pitfalls I've previously read about on the forums. If anyone has links realtive to this type of information or names of somone who could provide it I would appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    Dean

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by slas7713
    I've searched the forums and have not been able to get the specific info I'm looking for. Can anyone provide a sample of a contract for contract labor in the DR or give specifics on one? I'd like to eventually hire Dominicans in the DR as contract labor only in an attempt to avoid the employee pitfalls I've previously read about on the forums. If anyone has links realtive to this type of information or names of somone who could provide it I would appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    Dean
    This is almost impossible due to the laws. Our lawyer advised us against trying to draw up contracts and employing people on a contract basis. The contract is worthless in court.

    I would love to be able to employ people on a contract basis at DR1.
    We have turned down lots of work over the years due to this restriction.

    I have moved this to the legal section, maybe Fabio can throw more light on this subject?

  3. #3
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    Good question.
    What about volunteers with "good" stipends/expense accounts in lieu of a salary? Could that get you get around the employment issue?
    TEHAMA

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    There is no way around it unless you fire your workers before they have worked for you 3 months, that is, before they have any rights to severance pay, etc.

    The Dominican Labor Code is very strict on this issue. If the employees work under your (direct or indirect) supervision, obeying your orders, they have the right to the protection of the Labor Code. It does not matter what the written contract may say, for example, that the workers are independent contractors, the Courts will look at the facts and determine whether a labor contract exists.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabio J. Guzman
    There is no way around it unless you fire your workers before they have worked for you 3 months, that is, before they have any rights to severance pay, etc.

    The Dominican Labor Code is very strict on this issue. If the employees work under your (direct or indirect) supervision, obeying your orders, they have the right to the protection of the Labor Code. It does not matter what the written contract may say, for example, that the workers are independent contractors, the Courts will look at the facts and determine whether a labor contract exists.
    Fabio,

    Thanks for your input. What about if I only use the contract labor sporatically? Say one day every month or so. Does the 3 month period constitute using them full time?

    What about the idea above of using them as volunteers and paying stipends or expenses?

    Thanks,

    Dean

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    All labor in the DR is "contract" labor, whether you write it down or not. If you don't write it down, if you end up in front of the Labor Board at a hearing, it's then assumed to be what the Labor Code says it SHOULD say.

    It's been my experience that in the DR you usually get what you give to Dominicans. (I have yet to run across any Dominicans similar to a few bad apple American employees endlessly chasing workers' comp claims after 3 months of work, from employer to employer to employer.)

    If you take care of your employees, they will take care of you. If you don't take care of them, you may soon learn the other end of the stick. Here in the DR, the rules are tilted a bit more in favor of the employees than in other places.

    At the same time, if as previously agreed upon by you and the employee, if an employee performs work for you 2 days a week, at a payrate of RD$250 a day, then to determine his severance benefits after working for you for a year would be RD$91 per day X the number of days of benefits, and NOT the RD$250 workday rate - the severance is determined by the AVERAGE daily rate per day for the prior 12 months. (RD$500 divided by 5.5 days per week).

    At the same time, if he has worked for you at the same rate for only 6 months, the benefits rate would then drop to $45.45 per day ( $500 per week X 26 weeks divided by 52 weeks divided by 5.5 days per week.)

    Another consideration is that most Dominicans have no concept of "hourly" pay. They just want to know how much they will earn per month, regardless of hours worked, and whether or not Transporte is included, or lunch included.

    The Labor Code also standardizes a "work Week" at 44 hours. Yes, it is a quagmire, and it is tough to learn the ropes.

  7. #7
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    Default Labour Code

    Is the labour code anywhere in english? My spanish just isn't good enough yet.

    You say the work week is 44 hours. Does that include lunch breaks or exclude them?

    Thanks for the help...

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    Quote Originally Posted by GringoCArlos
    All labor in the DR is "contract" labor, whether you write it down or not. If you don't write it down, if you end up in front of the Labor Board at a hearing, it's then assumed to be what the Labor Code says it SHOULD say.

    It's been my experience that in the DR you usually get what you give to Dominicans. (I have yet to run across any Dominicans similar to a few bad apple American employees endlessly chasing workers' comp claims after 3 months of work, from employer to employer to employer.)

    If you take care of your employees, they will take care of you. If you don't take care of them, you may soon learn the other end of the stick. Here in the DR, the rules are tilted a bit more in favor of the employees than in other places.

    At the same time, if as previously agreed upon by you and the employee, if an employee performs work for you 2 days a week, at a payrate of RD$250 a day, then to determine his severance benefits after working for you for a year would be RD$91 per day X the number of days of benefits, and NOT the RD$250 workday rate - the severance is determined by the AVERAGE daily rate per day for the prior 12 months. (RD$500 divided by 5.5 days per week).

    At the same time, if he has worked for you at the same rate for only 6 months, the benefits rate would then drop to $45.45 per day ( $500 per week X 26 weeks divided by 52 weeks divided by 5.5 days per week.)

    Another consideration is that most Dominicans have no concept of "hourly" pay. They just want to know how much they will earn per month, regardless of hours worked, and whether or not Transporte is included, or lunch included.

    The Labor Code also standardizes a "work Week" at 44 hours. Yes, it is a quagmire, and it is tough to learn the ropes.

    So I got the number crunching down. How would you determine the number of days of benefits? Anyone?
    TEHAMA

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    When you hire a mechanic, an independent contractor to perform labor chores on your vehicle, after paying for the cost of parts and labor....what else is due to him?

    What about if you are building your house and you'd like to hire people independent of general or large contractors? Do you still have to pay the laborer after the job is completed?

    I am trying to get a closer understanding of it all

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by planner
    Is the labour code anywhere in english? My spanish just isn't good enough yet.

    You say the work week is 44 hours. Does that include lunch breaks or exclude them?

    Thanks for the help...
    The law firm of Pellerano & Herrera has an Executive Summary of the Labor Code in English on their website www.phlaw.com. It has been very helpful to me in understanding Dominican labor law concerning contracts and salaries, terminations, etc. The 44 hours does not include breaks, but, the employee must be given adequate break time for a meal or if time is not adequate (usually 45 minutes), the meal must be provided.

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