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Unformatted text preview: An Overview of Dominican Labor Law by Fabio J. Guzmn Guzman Ariza & Asociados www.drlawyer.com 1. Introduction Labor relationships in the Dominican Republic are governed by Law No. 16-92 of May 29, 1992, commonly known as the Labor Code, which is characterized by its strong and sometimes inflexible protection of the rights of the individual employee. This overview is a brief yet detailed summary of the Labor Codes most relevant provisions. All references in parentheses refer to articles in the Labor Code unless otherwise specified. Please note that no overview can validly substitute professional legal assistance. 2. Hiring a Workforce There are several details to pay attention to and obligations to comply with when hiring a workforce. 2.1.The Employment Contract As a general rule, any and all relationships in which one person obliges him or herself to provide any form of service to another, in exchange for remuneration and under the direction and/or supervision of the latter, are considered to be employment contracts and subject to the provisions of the Labor Code (Arts. 1 and 2). Such contracts, which may be verbal or written, are presumed to exist in every such case, unless proven otherwise by the employer. Given this presumption, it is quite possible for a person considered a private contractor in other jurisdictions to qualify as an employee in the Dominican Republic. Any party to an employment contract may require the other to prepare and/or sign a written version of a previously verbal agreement (Art.19). If in writing, any modifications made to it must be in writing as well (Art. 20). Written agreements are recommended since they foster a clear and sound work relationship. Any work carried out by a foreigner on Dominican soil is subject to the provisions of the Labor Code since Dominican labor laws are territorial in nature (Principle V of the Labor Code). 2.2.Restrictions and Obligations Certain limitations apply to the terms of the employment contract and the persons being employed. There is also a series of employer-exclusive obligations that arise from hiring a workforce. 2.2.1. Working Hours and Shifts Normal working hours may not exceed eight hours a day nor 44 hours a week (Art. 147). Employees in executive or managerial positions are considered an exception to this rule and may work up to 10 hours a day (Art. 150)....
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- Spring '11