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ARTICLES

Regulations against discriminatory acts in Panama

On February 14th, 2018, the National Assembly of the Republic of Panama approved the Law No.7 adopting measures against discriminatory acts.

The objective of this Law is oriented to prevent and prohibit labor harassment, sexual harassment, racism and sexism in the labor in the workplace environment (private sector and government entities), educational units and community organizations.

This public order act can prosecute employers, co-workers, educational staff, public servants, professional organizations and any other related party engaged in labor harassment, sexual harassment, racism and sexism actions, as described by Law.

Companies and government entities shall include advice and orientation programs and shall disclose information related to the prohibited actions according to this Law.

In addition to the aforementioned, must modify the internal body of rules or/and its internal policies, in order to include an effective claim process applicable to demands and resolution methods, keeping as confidential the identity of the claimant and his/her witnesses. This process may not take more than three months, counted as of the validity of this Law.

The employer is not able to terminate the labor relationship, while the victim is involved in the claiming process in the company, or government entity. Sanctions related to the prohibited conducts are:

  • ┬áFine for the amount of US$500.00 to US$1,000.00 for the company, imposed by the Labor Judicial Authority;
  • ┬áCriminal punishment according to the Criminal Code in case of Public Servants;
  • ┬áJustified dismissal for workers of private sector; and
  • ┬áSuspension of Classes, in case of students of any educational unit.

Author(s)

Miguel Urriola

Partner

Lourdes Bishop

Senior Associate

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