Costa Rica: Grace Period Granted to Non-Resident Migrants Set to Expire
Upcoming Deadline for Legal Compliance
On April 19, 2018, the “grace period” granted to non-resident migrants who stay in the country beyond what their visas or entry documents allow, will expire. In late 2016, the Executive Branch passed the Executive Decree No. 40073 that extended the grace period for non-resident migrants to avoid paying a $100 fine for each month that they remain in the country after their visa or entry document expires. Failure to pay this fine when leaving the country will prevent the foreign national from reentering Costa Rica for a period three times the length of their undocumented stay.
El Salvador: New Law Grants Leave with Pay to Employees When Reporting Violent Incidents
New Legislation Enacted
On January 30, 2018, the Legislative Chamber of El Salvador amended Article 29 of the Labor Code that requires employers to grant their female employees a leave with pay for the time spent reporting or filing incidents of violence against them. This amendment was published on February 27, 2018, and is currently in force. Employers may require documentary proof that the employee was indeed filing or reporting an incident of violence to grant the corresponding leave with pay.
Nicaragua: Nicaragua’s Ministry of Labor Sets New Minimum Wages
New Order or Decree
On March 9, 2018, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Labor set the new minimum wages in Nicaragua. The new increase of 10.40% will go into effect gradually: a 5.20% increase effective on March 1, 2018, and a 5.20% increase effective on September 1, 2018. With the National Commission on Minimum Wages having failed to reach an agreement to raise the minimum wage, the Ministry of Labor was statutorily authorized to raise it.
Panama: New Law Against Harassment, Discrimination and Racism Must Be Implemented by May 16, 2018
New Legislation Enacted
On February 14, 2018, the National Assembly of Panama approved Law No. 7 for the prevention, prohibition, and punishment of discrimination, harassment and racism. This legislation imposes new obligations on employers, such as creating internal policies for receiving, handling and investigating complaints of harassment, discrimination, and racism in the workplace, and empowers employees to bring claims. The law, which was announced on February 15, 2018, requires employers implement the law by May 16, 2018.
Panama: New Breastfeeding Guidelines With a Six-Month Compliance Deadline
New Regulation or Official Guidance
On March 23, 2018, the Ministry of Health published Resolution No. 129, dated February 26, 2018, setting forth new requirements for breastfeeding rooms within the workplace. Under these new guidelines, employers are required to implement a written policy to promote breastfeeding in the workplace, adjust the physical space and furnish such space with the minimum equipment and furniture required for lactation and breast pumping activities, inform and train working mothers on breastfeeding topics, among others. Employers have a six-month deadline to comply with these new requirements.