Labour and employment in Dominican Republic

Guzmán Ariza

Guzmán Ariza draws on its strength in the tourism sector to advise a number of major hospitality clients on labour matters, in addition to assisting large companies from the commercial, services, financial and construction industries. The team is highly active in labour litigation, representing both employers and senior executives, and also handles the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements with unions. On the non-contentious side, the practice covers advice on employment contracts and terminations, payroll issues, the labour aspects of M&A transactions, and compliance with labour regulations. The sizeable team, which is spread across the firm’s offices, is led by Rubén García in Las Terrenas and Rhadaisis Espinal in Santo Domingo; both stand out for their expertise in labour disputes. Julio Brea Guzmán and senior counsel Elvis Roque, both based in Sosúa, are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Rubén García; Rhadaisis Espinal

Testimonials

‘Guzman Ariza stay abreast of legal developments in the country and have the best synergy we have witnessed with their clients. They know how to respond quickly to the client’s immediate and long-term requirements, always obtaining the best results. Our success rate has been excellent since they have started representing us.’

‘Julio Brea and Elvis Roque are strategists and stand out for their use of technology, immediate responses, availability when needed and good use of time.’

Key clients

Club Med

Pawa Dominicana

New York Mets

Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort

SH Cacao CO Partners

Sosúa Ocean Village

Orica Dominicana

Grupo Laugama

GAP Medics

TravelSmart

Digital Works

Work highlights

  • Representing Major League Baseball team the New York Mets in a lawsuit filed by a local company which allegedly represented a rookie player from Puerto Plata over the player’s contract.
  • Advised Club Med on structuring the labour aspects of its new resort in Miches, including negotiating the establishment of a separate union for the new operation.
  • Representing Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club in more than 300 labour cases involving its hotels in more than three provinces in the country, relating to Covid-19 issues, relocations and severance payments.

Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernández

The ‘excellent‘ team at Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernández stands out for its expertise in handling labour disputes, including appearing before the Supreme Court, on behalf of major clients from the telecoms, financial services, education, pharmaceuticals and sports sectors, among others. The practice also has experience of advising on negotiations with labour unions, the implementation of HR policies, the termination of employment relationships and calculation of severance, and compliance with labour and social security regulations. At the head of the team, Tomás Hernández advises on employment contracts, the design and restructuring of benefits, and risk prevention, as well as handling labour litigation. Litigator Julio Camejo is another key contact for labour disputes and union negotiations, and senior associate Federico Pinchinat is also a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Tomás Hernandez

Testimonials

‘It is an excellent team, which stays up to date on our matters and which exhibits a high level of quality that give us comfort when we delegate a case to them.’

‘Among the qualities to highlight are the team’s proactivity, constant communication and customer service.’

‘It is a team that is well led and maintains a high standard of quality. Their advice takes into account the particularities of the client and achieves extraordinary results. When a new person joins the litigation team, they receive excellent support to ensure they get results.’

‘In Tomás Hernández, they have an expert lawyer in labour matters, in whom we trust 100%. He is a well-rounded lawyer who knows how to give advice depending on the client’s needs and makes recommendations which take into account the risks but support the client’s business. As a litigator, he is careful and strategic. We are 100% satisfied with the team and we fully trust its expertise.’

Key clients

Levapan Dominicana

Sanofi

KPMG

New York Yankees

Philipp Morris Dominicana

LA Dodgers

MercaSID

GBM Dominicana

American Móvil Teleservices/OPITEL

Isla Dominicana De Petróleo Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented the LA Dodgers in a labour claim brought by an ex-academy player seeking payment of severance and acquired rights as an ordinary employee in the Dominican Republic.
  • Acting for United Petroleum and Transporte Lizandro in a claim brought by 28 workers, seeking allegedly unpaid salary and damages.
  • Advised Isla Dominicana de Petróleo Corporation on the labour aspects of its partnership with Sol Investments.

Pereyra & Asociados

With ‘vast experience‘ in labour matters, Pereyra & Asociados counts a number of major multinationals from sectors including food and beverages, financial services, manufacturing and telecoms among its clients. The prevention of employment-related claims is a key area of expertise for the team, which frequently advises on compliance programmes and the implementation of internal policies, but it is also highly active in labour disputes. Other areas of strength include advising on employment contracts, incentives and benefits, and negotiations with labour unions. Founding partner Luis Miguel Pereyra, who has experience in labour litigation and dispute resolution, leads the practice with Emma Mejía Batlle and Gregorio García Villavizar.

Practice head(s):

Luis Miguel Pereyra; Gregorio Garcia Villavizar; Emma Mejía Batlle

Testimonials

‘The firm’s labour team is excellent. The lawyers have vast experience and mastery of the current regulatory framework. They strive to obtain the best possible results for their clients. The experience we have had as they have dealt with our labour cases has been excellent.’

‘The lawyers are very responsible and they constantly follow up on key matters, always trying to identify advantages for the client. They have an excellent command of labour issues in the Dominican Republic.’

Key clients

VF Corporation (Timberland)

United Way

Hanesbrands

Eaton Corporation

Esso República Dominicana

Mondelez International (Kraft and Cadbury)

B Braun Medical

TransUnion

McDonald’s Corporation

Archer Daniels Midland Company

Napco Securities Group

The Bank of Nova Scotia

Menzies Aviation

Orange – Altice

Ecolab – Microtek

3M Dominicana

Bacardi Dominicana

Abbott

Work highlights

  • Advised TransUnion on the inclusion of non-competition clauses in employment contracts, modifying its variable compensation policy and implementing flexible hours and home-working policies.
  • Acted for Bacardí Dominicana in a claim brought by an employee challenging his dismissal for lack of honesty.
  • Advised Mondelez International on its vehicle-purchasing bonus policy.

ECIJA DVMS

ECIJA DVMS leverages its presence across Latin America to advise major multinationals on labour matters and particularly stands out for its expertise in the sports industry, with a niche specialism representing Major League Baseball teams in labour disputes involving employees and players. In addition to litigation, the team has experience in the implementation of labour policies, the hiring and dismissal of senior executives, labour audits and the cross-border assignment of employees. Advising on the labour aspects of M&A and restructurings, including mass lay-offs and suspensions, is also a key area of strength. Gabriel Dejarden and Edward Salcedo, who is noted for his representation of international clients in labour disputes, lead the team, with key support from associate Arístides Victoria.

Practice head(s):

Edward Salcedo; Gabriel Dejarden

Testimonials

‘What sets them apart is their respectful response to enquiries.’

‘The team’s best qualities are strong communication and the ability to understand the situation that is being advised on. We would like to highlight Gabriel Dejarden, Aristides Victoria and Edward Salcedo.’

‘The team stands out for its quick responses, presentation of practical examples and understanding of our requirements. They always give us confidence.’

‘We always feel very supported by Edward Salcedo – he always gives us advice that is not only timely but is also based on what we require, and he is always available when we need help.’

Key clients

Costa Farms

Wurth Dominicana

Pfizer

DHL Dominicana

Atlanta Braves

Texas Rangers

Helidosa Aviation Group

Club de Descuentos Vacacionales

Houston Astros

Grupo Lácteo del Caribe (Dos Pinos)

New York Mets

Pittsburgh Pirates

Eurofresh

Work highlights

  • Advised a major transportation company on labour matters relating to a high-profile accident that resulted in several casualties.
  • Assisted an important international company with a complex corporate reorganisation that resulted in the transfer of hundreds of employees to different entities.
  • Acted for a Major League Baseball team in a $1m claim brought by a former employee seeking severance and compensation for damages.

Russin, Vecchi & Heredia Bonetti

The ‘well-rounded‘ employment practice at Russin, Vecchi & Heredia Bonetti spans both contentious and non-contentious matters. Representing employers in labour disputes is a key area of expertise, but the team also plays an active role in advising international clients on the labour aspects of setting up local subsidiaries, including hiring personnel, compliance with local labour and social security regulations, review of company policies and immigration issues.  The practice is led by managing partner Georges Santoni Recio, who is noted for his assistance to foreign clients in labour disputes, and José Maldonado Stark. Ariel Jaquez Nuñez and Mónika Fiallo Paradas, whose specialisms include immigration law, are also names to note.

Practice head(s):

Georges Santoni Recio; José Maldonado Stark

Testimonials

‘What makes this practice unique is its professionalism and integrity, which was demonstrated in all my dealings with the firm.’

‘I am very pleased with the service Ariel Jaquez Nuñez and Monika Fiallo Paradas provide.’

‘It is a well-rounded practice that deals with the client’s requirements promptly.’

‘The people are ethical and professional, and provide continuous support in legal challenges to the highest standards.’

‘The RVHB team is very professional and always willing to provide legal advice as soon as possible. They are very knowledgeable about the laws in the Dominican Republic.’

‘A very professional, highly trained team, with excellent customer service.’

‘The team stands out for its knowledge and experience.’

Key clients

International Executive Service Corps

Renaissance Partners

Signal Dominicana

Dominican Garden Products

Pfizer

Mathiesen Republica Dominicana

Condominio Casa del Lago, Guavaberry Gulf & Country

Movix República Dominicana

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Renaissance Partners in a claim brought by a former employee for harassment and bullying.
  • Advised on labour matters at the Casa del Lago condominium complex in the Guavaberry Golf & Country Club relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, including the suspension and termination of some employment contracts.
  • Assisting IESC with labour matters including hiring, the termination of employment contracts, the revision of employment and service agreements, and immigration matters for foreign employees.

DMK Abogados

DMK Abogados‘ labour practice was bolstered by the return of litigator Iván García Elsevyf from Bureau Legal in June 2021, bringing significant experience in labour disputes to the team. The practice’s focus lies in defending employers with large workforces – particularly hotels and free trade zone companies – against claims brought by employees, but it is also experienced in advising on issues relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, including the suspension of employment contracts, flexible and remote working, health and safety in the workplace, and payroll adjustments. Corporate lawyer Patricia Read also assists with advising multinational clients on labour matters.

Practice head(s):

Ivan Garcia Elsevyf

Testimonials

‘DMK is always available to me, at any time of the day, any day of the week. The lawyer on our account always answers my messages or calls in a timely manner.’

Key clients

Dominicanotel (Hoteles Senators & Resorts)

Laurelton Jewelry (subsidiary of Tiffany & Co)

Betcris

INWK República Dominicana

Oriflame

Civil Del Caribe

Work highlights

  • Advising Dominicanotel (Hoteles Senators & Resorts) on labour matters including personnel hiring, the execution, suspension and termination of employment contracts, and labour union relations.
  • Advising Laurelton Jewelry (a subsidiary of Tiffany & Co) on day-to-day labour matters including employment contracts, internal policies, health and safety, and social security issues.
  • Advising Betcris on administrative labour matters, the suspension of personnel, maternity leave and other issues.

Jiménez Peña

Jiménez Peña has a strong track record in labour litigation, defending employers against claims brought by employees as well as handling investigations and the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements. On the non-contentious side, the team advises on risk prevention, including the implementation of internal policies and compliance with labour regulations, and labour issues arising from the Covid-19 pandemic such as terminations and suspensions of employment. Practice head Rosa (Lisa) Díaz is experienced in labour litigation, individual and collective dismissals, and negotiations with unions. Founding partner Marcos Peña Rodríguez and newly promoted partner Laura Medina are also noted for labour disputes.

Practice head(s):

Rosa (Lisa) Díaz

Testimonials

‘The team is highly professional and responds in a very reasonable time to any request.’

‘The firm stands out for the professionalism and knowledge of the team.’

‘They work with a great sense of responsibility, efficiency and a lot of empathy. As far as innovation goes, they have electronic invoicing, avoiding transfers and use of paper.’

‘The team are focused on customer service and have a great ability to put themselves in our shoes and know exactly how to meet our requirements.’

Key clients

American Airlines

Hotelera Natura

Washington Nationals Baseball Club

JC Decaux

Sirenis Hotels

Hola Tours & Travel

Asociación Popular de Ahorros y Préstamos

Eaton Corporation

Frito Lay Dominicana

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Hola Tours & Travel in three separate labour claims for termination with cause, one of which reached the Supreme Court.
  • Assisted Frito Lay Dominicana with the negotiation of a collective agreement with a workers’ union.
  • Provided ongoing support to American Airlines throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, including advising on the revision of internal health and security protocols, creation of new policies, suspension of employment, and the reduction and/or reallocation of personnel.

OMG

OMG focuses on labour litigation and is particularly active in defending employers in wrongful termination claims brought by former employees, including senior executives. The team also provides assistance to its wide-ranging roster of clients, which spans the financial services, food and beverages, energy, healthcare, tourism and real estate sectors, on compliance, internal policies, labour issues relating to the Covid-19 pandemic (such as the reduction of working hours and salaries) and the transfer of employees following M&A transactions. Consultant Luis Pantaleón, who specialises in litigation, is the key name in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Luis Pantaleón

Key clients

Green Conversion Systems

Baxter Healthcare

Iniciativa Empresarial para la Educación Técnica

Funeraria Blandino

Oxygen Development

Bon Agroindustrial

Barna Business School

SNC Lavalin

Contact Centers Dominicana

Agua Planeta Azul

Consorcio Azucarero de Empresas Industriales (Ingenio Cristóbal Colón)

Work highlights

  • Representing Green Conversion Systems in a claim brought by its former CEO, seeking compensation for alleged wrongful termination.
  • Representing Funeraria Blandino in labour claims filed by former commission agents, seeking protection under labour legislation.
  • Assisting Iniciativa Empresarial para la Educación Técnica with drafting the paperwork to implement Ordinance 03-2017 issued by the National Council of Education (which established mandatory workplace training modules for all students in the public high school system).

Pellerano & Herrera

Pellerano & Herrera is experienced in both labour disputes and advisory work for an impressive roster of multinational clients. Litigator Lucy Objío heads the contentious side of the practice, which focuses on representing major employers in claims brought by employees, while special counsel Isabel Andrickson leads the consultancy practice, advising on the labour aspects of M&A and reorganisations, the recruitment and dismissal of employees, and the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements. Corporate partner Carolina Leon assists with the employment aspects of transactions, and senior associates Sheila Oviedo and Laura Patiño handle labour disputes and consultancy matters, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Objío; Isabel Andrickson

Testimonials

‘The team has the necessary knowledge of the practice area, as well as solid communication and time management skills.’

‘The team stands out for its customer service, attention to detail, project management skills, clarity and assistance to clients in making the best decisions.’

‘A good firm with a lot of resources and excellent lawyers.’

‘P&H’s labour lawyers have high professional and intellectual standards, and are always seeking to protect our company within the framework of full compliance and respect for local legislation. They are lawyers with a comprehensive vision, whose advice always entails an in-depth analysis of the matters submitted for their consideration, so that the decisions that are made are fully supported.’

‘What sets the firm apart is the outstanding quality of the lawyers that it has and the close relationships and availability that they always have for the client, even from a distance. Isabel Andrickson is an outstanding lawyer who has assisted us with implementing technology in the workplace, taking care of all the risks and legal aspects.’

Key clients

Uber Technologies

Dominican House of Representatives

Medtronic

Diamonds International

Mayo Clinic

Collins Aerospace

Procter & Gamble International

JetBlue

Ricoh Latin America

Sanofi

Kwai

The Boeing Company

Louis Vuitton

Peace Corps Dominican Republic

Marr Contracting

Dolce & Gabbana

Carnival Corporation

Work highlights

  • Defended Uber in a lawsuit brought by Sindicato de Transporte Turistico of Punta Cana, a group of four trade unions, which sought the suspension of Uber’s operations in the province, alleging that the relationship between Uber and its drivers is illegal based on the Dominican Labour Code.
  • Advised Medtronic on the regulatory requirements to register for the government’s Employee Solidarity Assistance Fund, and the subsequent suspension of employees under the scheme.
  • Advising the Dominican House of Representatives on the drafting of a new bill on remote working in the Dominican Republic.

Squire Patton Boggs

Benefitting from its sizeable international footprint, Squire Patton Boggs is experienced in advising multinational clients on local labour matters, from day-to-day compliance issues to the hiring of employees and termination of employment relationships (including for high-level executives), the review of employment policies and employee benefits, the relocation of employees and labour issues relating to M&A transactions. Practice head Pedro Gamundi  has expertise in cross-border labour and restructuring matters, while litigator Carolina Soto Hernández  handles international and local labour disputes. At associate level, Sarah Roa  and Laura Consuegra  have experience in contentious and non-contentious matters, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Gamundi

Testimonials

‘Sarah Roa and Laura Consuegra stand out for their preparation before each meeting, the professionalism with which they handle our requirements, and their warm and friendly treatment of us.’

‘The team is set apart by its attention to detail, quality and punctuality in following up on matters.’

Key clients

Diageo Dominicana

Implementos y Maquinarias (IMCA)

Medtronic Dominican Republic

The Clorox Company

Jabil Circuit

La Tabacalera

Vivial Dominicana

V2 Strategic Advisors/Chinola Cloud

Baltimore Orioles Dominican Baseball

Amcor Rigid Plastics Dominicana

Toronto Blue Jays

Milwaukee Brewers

Work highlights

  • Acting as primary labour counsel for Diageo Dominicana, including advising on the drafting of employment agreements for new hires, terminations of employment (including the calculation of applicable severance) and the implementation of employment benefits.
  • Advising Implementos y Maquinarias (IMCA) on all aspects of labour law, including the engagement and termination of employment relationships, risk analysis of changes to the company’s internal policies and structure, and other day-to-day issues.
  • Advising Jabil Circuit on labour-related matters, including compliance with local labour legislation and Covid-19 related regulations.

Ulises Cabrera

Ulises Cabrera is experienced in labour litigation, representing both employers and employees, in addition to handling negotiations with labour unions. The team also advises on a wide range of non-contentious matters, including the drafting of internal regulations and compliance with local labour and social security laws (as well as new health and safety regulations stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic). Founding partner Ulises Cabrera and managing partner José Cruz Campillo are particularly active in labour disputes, and Monica Villafaña advises corporate clients on labour issues. Senior associate Ramón Lantigua Arias joined from the Directorate of Public-Private Partnerships in November 2021.

Practice head(s):

Ulises Cabrera; José Cruz Campillo; Mónica Villafaña; Ramon Antonio Lantigua Arias

Testimonials

‘What makes the team unique is its willingness to deal with our cases. The team is fully qualified in all areas.’

‘Monica Villafaña stands out for her commitment to cases and speed when dealing with queries.’

Key clients

Coccia Dominicana

Asociación Popular de Ahorros y Préstamos

Acquire BPO

GlaxoSmithKline República Dominicana

Siemens Mobility

Inversiones Manuel Cabrera

Aviam

Cisco Systems

Sabre GLBL

Gildan Activewear

Cardinal Health DR 203 II

Enercom

Inversiones Brytayra

KS Investment

Work highlights

  • Representing Gildan Activewear in claims brought by the labour union SITRAGIL over the annulment of the membership validation process of SITRAGILDAN labour union, and the annulment of the early termination agreement of the collective bargaining agreement between Gildan and SITRAGIL.
  • Representing a former employee in a claim against not-for-profit organisation the Mariposa Foundation, seeking an unpaid portion of her severance.
  • Represented Servicios Integrales Alorfa in a claim brought by a former employee, alleging that the client did not comply with its social security and workplace health and safety obligations.