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Costa Rica – Almost 2 Years Following the Entry into Force of the LPR: Discrimination
Publications || 2019 || Costa Rica – Almost 2 Years Following the Entry into Force of the LPR: Discrimination

Costa Rica – Almost 2 Years Following the Entry into Force of the LPR: Discrimination

by charbds, 17 June, 2019

June 17, 2019
Ana Laura Hernández / alhernandez@bdsasesores.com
Attorney at law BDS Asesores

By July 25, 2017 the country was undergoing the most significant and radical change in its labor regulations since the enactment of the Labor Code back in 1943. One of the most relevant changes brought by the labor procedure reform consisted in strengthening the fight against discrimination at work.

Thus, the Labor Code evolved from having four specific causes of discrimination to regulating ten of them in its Article 404, while also leaving the door open for claims on grounds of any analogous forms of discrimination in addition to those specifically listed in said provision.

As this was the strongest change, and taking into consideration the considerable amount of information regarding the topics of discrimination and free legal aid that has been provided nationwide, lawsuits in this connection have exponentially increased over the past two years. Actually, administrative complaints filed with the MTSS have significantly declined as workers have found that the brief judicial process is a more effective legal remedy to address discrimination issues.

Thus, corrective and preventive labor law has been essential for employers, which had to go through significant internal transformations during the different stages of employment relationships. These changes included adjusting recruitment and selection procedures, modifying hiring practices which might lead to discriminatory behaviors, and improving termination procedures concerning employment contracts.

As part of the recruitment and selection process, employers have experienced a drastic change by limiting the hiring requirements to those strictly related to the relevant profile established for job openings; the way job interviews are conducted has also changed to such extent that personal aspects of the candidate are excluded from the interview in order to avoid the risk of incurring in discrimination. Moreover, over the course of the employment relationship employers are increasingly fostering inclusive practices by developing and implementing internal anti-discrimination policies which may lead to a healthier and more equalitarian environment. Finally, employment termination processes have been reinforced by documenting the objectiveness of these decisions (i.e., eliminating any employee dismissals based on subjective or personal reasons) and communicating such decisions assertively.

Employers are increasingly noticing the effects that these labor law changes had brought, as a result of which the adjustment of in-company human resources management practices has been inevitable in order to avoid discrimination complaints.

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