Overview of Dominican Labor Law

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Sep 23, 2002
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Thank you, thank you, thank you.... this is so useful. It puts into one place all the information we need, it is well organized and well put together.
 

jstnorv05

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Jun 13, 2005
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Labor Law Full Doc

I have a copy the labor law code in Spanish but there a certain words that I have had a few problems with that could cause a big problem is a mistranslate. Is there a place that has an english translation of the entire code(preferrably in pdf)?
 

HOWMAR

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Jan 28, 2004
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jstnorv05 said:
I have a copy the labor law code in Spanish but there a certain words that I have had a few problems with that could cause a big problem is a mistranslate. Is there a place that has an english translation of the entire code(preferrably in pdf)?
I haven't seen a full translation of the Code. But I doubt that it would much more help than the English summaries as some things can be lost in the translation. For example the words "may" "must" and "shall" leave alot to interpetation. The Labor Reps won't care what your translation means, they only know what their interpetation of the Spanish is.
 

jstnorv05

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Jun 13, 2005
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I've been here long enough to know that you're absolutely right but understanding more than I do now could have saved us a lot of problems. I know we can only follow the law to the best of our ability and that still may not protect us but I think that if we do the best we can we may have less problems.
 

HOWMAR

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jstnorv05 said:
I've been here long enough to know that you're absolutely right but understanding more than I do now could have saved us a lot of problems. I know we can only follow the law to the best of our ability and that still may not protect us but I think that if we do the best we can we may have less problems.
Absolutely. But don't try to interpet Dominican Labor Law using American logic. Many parts of the Law contradicts itself and logic isn't allowed to prevail. The bottom line usually is that if there is a question of interpetaion of a question, the worker receives the benefit of the doubt.
 

jstnorv05

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Jun 13, 2005
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Despite the lack of assurance that our attempts to follow the law may not provide us the protection of the law we would like to follow it to the best of our ability.

HOWMAR said:
Absolutely. But don't try to interpet Dominican Labor Law using American logic. Many parts of the Law contradicts itself and logic isn't allowed to prevail. The bottom line usually is that if there is a question of interpetaion of a question, the worker receives the benefit of the doubt.
 

Fabio J. Guzman

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Jan 1, 2002
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You could write volumes about the interpretation of the law, Dominican or of any other kind. Of course, it helps if you have legal training, that?s why you have lawyers.

There have been several instances in history when lawmakers tried to do away with interpretation but they have all failed. In revolutionary France before Napoleon (1789-1799) it was established that judges could not interpret the law at all, they had to apply it just as it was written, and in case of obscurity or ambiguity the judge had to refer back to the legislature, where the will of the people supposedly resided, for interpretation. The system soon broke down under the overload of cases at the Legislative Assembly and judges went back to do their job of interpreting the law. The revolutionary lawmakers had repeated the old mistake of believing they could draft perfect laws. All human laws are imperfect and as such must often be interpreted to make them applicable to certain cases. ?Life is wiser than the lawmaker,? a famous French judge once said.

For purposes of interpretation, Dominican lawyers use the same tools used by lawyers worldwide, guided by court precedent (?jurisprudencia?) and the opinion of legal authors (?doctrina?). For the particular case of Labor Laws, the Dominican Labor Code establishes a general rule of interpretation (Principle VIII): in case of contradictory texts or doubt about the meaning of a text, the judge will interpret the law under the light most favorable to the employee (?in dubio pro operario?).
 

sunshine73

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Apr 5, 2006
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Is this legal??

Well this has been very helpful. One question comes to mind, is it legal to obtain a cedula as an american, for work purpose only??
 

Conchman

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Jul 3, 2002
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Technically, by law, you must have a cedula in order to work in the DR. However, many foreigners have been working in the DR without a cedula for a long time.
 

Reina

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Feb 2, 2007
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Hi, I have a question..I have been under a contract with the same company for 4 years...it ends in August (its renewed every august) and now the company has advised me that they do not want to renew my contract after august of this year...I am an American who has filed for residency...am I entiltled to severence pay? If so...how do I go about getting it? They hired me knowing I did not have residency at the time...and have placed me on a local salary contract...any suggestions?

Thanks so much for the info on labor laws...it helped a bit
 

priji

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Nov 13, 2007
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SANTO DOMINGO. - Dominican Free Zones Association (Adozona)president Fernando Capellan said yesterday the Labor Code must be modified to guarantee competitiveness by those companies and eliminate the mafias of "shark lawyers" who spur lawsuits from senior workers in Santiago province.

Capellan and Adozona?s former president Carlos Manuel Alvarez, interviewed by the newspaper Listin Diario, said at least one third of the 60,000 jobs that were lost in Santiago resulted from the uncertainty created.

They said of the 60,000 jobs lost from 15,000 to 20,000 would?ve been saved if the problem of the labor liabilities originating in the work contracts had been corrected two years ago, which had been finalized and reinitiated annually in the free zones.

Capellan said some companies closed because the amounts they had to pay for workers lawsuits were greater than their working capital.

As to competitiveness, the business leaders said the local currency is overvalued and its true cost should be RD$37 per dollar, as established in the Budget.

They also complained of the high cost of energy and aspects such as labor legislation, which they said should be revised.
 
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expat_in_cabarete

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Does anyone know if the "salario vacacional" means a vacation bonus or if the code refers only the paid-vacation time? I got quite confused reading the code. I know of a few countries where it means a vacation bonus (like a 14th salary, something like the "aguinaldo"). Thanks
 

Vintage

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Aug 26, 2008
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wow after reading this my husband has been ripped off

he worked at least 12 hours a day with no overtime pay
never got a marriage leave with 5 days pay

never got his vacation time after one year

is there any recourse?
he had beeen terminated when they found out he was going to canada
 

dos amigos

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Oct 18, 2008
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I read the article on labour law but can you tell me if it applies to part time staff as well as full time. I am talking in particular about our gardener who works 3 full days a week i.e. 0800hrs to 1600hrs with 1 hour for lunch plus morning and afternoon breaks
 

Adam Spenser

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Nov 29, 2002
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This is for Senor Fabio Guzman. It is my understanding after reading your posts over the years on the Labor Law that domestics whether or not a home is owned personally or by a Dominican corporation are not entitled to severance pay. Is this correct? Also domestics who are pregnant can be terminated without severance pay. Is this correct?
Adam