This summary of age discrimination law in Dominican Republic has been prepared by Pellerano & Herrera: www.phlaw.com

Overview

Enshrined within the Dominican Constitution is The Equal Treatment Right and this protects against age discrimination. In addition, the Right to Work forbids any type of discrimination (including age) in the selection process or during the rendering of services other than the exceptions provided by law.

Several pieces of legislation refer to age discrimination including:

  • The Dominican Labour Code, which incorporates a Prohibition of Discrimination under any basis, including age, as a Fundamental Principle;
  • Law 24-97 (which modifies the Criminal, Criminal Procedure and Juvenile Codes) defines Discrimination as any type of distinction based on age;
  • the Law for the Protection of the Elderly incorporates a provision stating that people over 65 years old have the same opportunities and should not be discriminated upon based on their age.

Who's covered?

These are general provisions that cover everyone that is trying to get into the job market or is currently in it, without exception, and whether they are employees or self-employed. 

What enforcement/remedies exist?

Any person, who considers they have been discriminated upon based on their age, can refer to the Labour Courts in order to prove this situation and obtain compensation for the moral damages that this situation has represented to them, given the fact that they have the right to do so under the Labour Code and the Dominican Constitution.

How common are claims?

Claims based on discrimination are rare to non-existent. Age discrimination is cited as one of the many factors by which a person was rejected or dismissed, but is rarely the main reason in which an employer has based his decision during a selection process or terminated an employee.

What claims are most common and what are the trickiest issues for employers?

Age discrimination is a very delicate and hard to prove fact. In order to avoid age discrimination claims, it is recommended that the employer does not use age criteria when hiring or when advertising positions in newspapers.

Are there any specific exceptions in your law? 

The Dominican Labour Code contemplates, within its Prohibition of Discrimination principle, that distinctions, exclusions or preferences based on the qualifications required by an employer are not covered by this provision.

Retirement

The Social Security Law contemplates retirement under any of these circumstances: (i) a person is 60 years old and they have contributed to the Social Security System for a minimum of 360 months; or, (ii) a person is 55 years old and they have accumulated funds equivalent to 50% over the minimum pension.