The government of President Luis Guillermo Solís had as one of their main goals for this term to have the Reforma Procesal Laboral Project back in Congress and get it approved. This plan to produce a major reformation on the process of how labor lawsuits are currently handled at the Costa Rican court houses. However, it had an article that legalized strikes and vital services such as health, police and other similar services. It had been vetoed by President Laura Chinchilla during her government.
Sure enough, as soon as President Solis came to power, he cancelled the veto imposed by President Chinchilla and the project was back on the legislative house. After a long road of approving it, and later having it banned by a Court house, the project finally came back to Congress in December of 2015 and in only six days, a record time for Costa Rican Congress, the project was approved.
On December 14th, 2015 the Reforma Procesal Laboral was approved with 41 favorable votes. One major change on the approved project is that the articles relating to strikes on vital services were left out and not approved. Some of the innovations which will come as a result of the new reformation is that labor lawsuits will be resolved quicker and employees will be able to get their unpaid benefits established by law faster than what they can today, which will save up resources for both the employers and the government by avoiding long processes which are rather simple. Also, employees who cannot afford a lawyer will now have the possibility to get a public defendant in case they needed.
This law will go into effect around mid-2016 so there is a lot to be learned by employers and government institutions. We will do our best to keep you informed about the upcoming and new learnings we discover along the way.