How to enforce severance pay

Tibu

Member
Mar 19, 2002
69
13
8
Hi all,

I still own a house in the DR together with my ex-wife. We both live abroard.

During her recent trip she kicked out the guy taking care of our house and placed somebody else there against my will. Apart from the other problems related to this I would like to help the man to make her pay the severance/liquidation pay.
He worked for us for 11 years and earned 5000 RD$/month. Someone (not sure who) calculated that he would get 61000 RD$. When he went to the labor office (in Nagua) they told him to go to a lawyer. The lawyer said that he would need to calculate again but that it would be more money than the 61000. The lawyer asks for 5000 RD$ + 15% of the money.

My questions:
- As far as I found out in this forum, the amound of 61000 RD$ is realistic. Could be a little more if he claims that he never had vacation (would be hard to proof).
- What should he expect from the lawyer for this amount of money? I think that just for calculating the severance pay it's quite expensive.
- He has been told that only my ex-wife has to pay him as she fired him (If not, no problem, he owes my some money which I will not see again anyway). As she left the DR, what could be the way to go? How can he force her to pay? Should he do any legal action now or wait until she comes back (which might be next year)?

My biggest concern is that he wastes RD$ 15000 for the lawyer without any helpful results, because to pay the lawyer I would have to send him that money.

Thank you for your input.

Tibu
 

dv8

Gold
Sep 27, 2006
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by my calculation you owe him, theoretically: RD$60,840.76
i say theoretically because he was a domestic worker, not sure they are entitled to their pay.
in any case, he worked for you for a long time so you should pay him, it is a decent thing to do.
you may be a bit screwed on the ground of not paying him on time - it should take 10 days from the monemt he was let go.
what i would do is pay him 61k in liquidation plus his monthly salary for the period between now and the time he was fired (if you fired him last month add 5k, two months ago 10k and so on).
offer him the money in cash. best if it is done via your lawyer. explain that if he takes the cash it is all for him. if he wants to fight for it he will have to share with his lawyer so it's up to him.
you can calculate liquidation pay here: :: C?lculo de Prestaciones Laborales ::
i put his employment as 10 years, from 1st of august 2002 to 1st of august 2012. it may need adjusting depending on the actual time he worked for you.

what you need to do to make it official is go to a local office of ministerio de trabajo, present them with the data (years worked, was there any vacation this year, include xmas salary and so on) and they will calculate it for you and print it out. it is free of charge, btw. you will need two copies: one for your worker and one for you, SIGNED AND DATED BY HIM.
 

Tibu

Member
Mar 19, 2002
69
13
8
Hello dv8,


thank you for the reply.
It is just a little different. My ex-wife fired him, I wantede to keep him, but at least I want to help him get the severance pay from her. She has to pay for it, but she thinks that she is above the law.
For the time beeing I keep sending him money anyway and he stays with a friend of mine.

Tibu
 

dv8

Gold
Sep 27, 2006
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sorry, i did not get it...
if your ex does not ever come back to DR he can do nothing. even if she does... i am not sure he can do anything.
is your wife dominican? then probably she knows that domestic help does not have the right to the liquidation. she is not above the law, she acts on it. if she is a foreigner maybe she can get threatened to pay up...
i suggest you pay the guy yourself. you seem to care and this is the least you can do.
btw, with 11 years of work it will be RD$65,666.61.
it does not matter whether he ever had vacations or not, only this last year is taken into account when it comes to that...

also: i do not mean to be nasty but if you want to help just pay him the liquidation. i can see you'd send the money for the lawyer. this only gives your worker the opportunity to suck out of you as much as possible. many decent people turn VERY bitter after they have lost their job, don't count on the guy being your friend anymore...
 
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Tibu

Member
Mar 19, 2002
69
13
8
Hi,

she is dominican, she will come back and I want her to pay for it - or, even better - to let him continue to do his job, but this is more difficult and another question.

I also don't agree to call his job "domestic help". Recently it was mainly "watchman", before that more "farm worker". Or is any person not working for a company "domestic help"?

Tibu
 

dv8

Gold
Sep 27, 2006
31,263
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i am afraid so. if he was working for you doing chores around the house then he would classify as domestic.
why don't you re-hire the guy when you come back? your wife can fire him, you can re-hire him, viscous circle... and something you should really discuss with your ex. maybe she did have a reason to let him go?

it may be very difficult for him to get anything out of her. i am pretty sure there is no paperwork regarding his employment, no signed documents, nothing. a gringo would usually pay up because it's a decent thing to do and fighting is too much pain in the a**. dominicans... well... your worker thinks she owes him, she thinks she does not. people here can be very stubborn when it comes to money.
 

william webster

Platinum
Jan 16, 2009
30,247
4,330
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I just went through a "firing" of a watchyman for sleeping on the job.

He got a lawyer and we paid more than the 70,000DRP we offered him for 5 yrs work.

The courts and law are very favorable to the employee, He had a lawyer, we had a lawyer.

Best way to get rid rid of an employee (not the case here, I know) is to register 'strikes' at the labor office.
After three strikes - no liquidation - fire away !

BTW, we had trouble for not paying the health etc - all corrected now.
And , yes, this is for domestics - house, garden and watcman.

We now use an agency for the watchman services.
 

Kozy

Active member
Jun 1, 2002
234
31
28
all good advise- forget the lawyer, you don't need him. the website dv8 refers to is official. Pay him that, write a letter to Sec of trabajo in Nagua stating the facts, notarized and signed by him. Deposit it with sec of Trabajo. Ya !