Costa Rica Labor Law

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Employment Contracts

Costa Rica Labor Code on Employment Contracts

Employment Contract

The Costa Rica Labor Code has specified the details for employment contracts in Articles 18-42. The Labor Code defines and employment contract as a written document for the purpose of a person undertaking to provide services – material or intellectual – under the direction of the employer or according to duties delegated to him or her for a specified remuneration in kind or form. The employment contract is considered legally binding on both the employer and employee according to good faith, local custom, laws, usage, and equity. There is a special provision for the employment contract relating to specific professions like farm work, the employer is obliged to pay the market rate etc.

  • Verbal Employment Contract

    The Costa Rica Labor Code recognizes a verbal employment contract in the following instances:

    work relating to crops, livestock, etc. but not industrial work done in the field

    domestic services.

    temporary or sudden requirement of work for not more than 90 days if it is not of a nature that could be included in the previous types of employment as listed above. In this instance of a verbal employment contract, the employer has to issue a written document stating the work done and payment made every 30 days on request by the employee.

    work relating to crops, livestock, etc. but not industrial work done in the field

    The verbal employment contract would apply to to any particular work – as agreed by employer and employee – if it does not exceed a value of 250 colones but might last for more than 90 days.

  • Copies And Detailed Provision In Employment Contract

    The written employment contract includes three copies – one each for the employer, the employee and the Employment Bureau of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. The contract has to be submitted within 15 days to the government.

    The written employment contract must contain the following information:

    name, nationality, age, sex, and marital status of the employee

    address of the contracting parties

    number and details of identity cards

    precise descriptions in case the employee has a temporary residence

    duration and nature of the employment contract with remuneration decided and payment details

    working hours and overtime agreements, etc.


    any other provisions in the contract including those relating to termination of services, notice period, etc. the date and place the contract is signed with an understanding that there were legal witnesses to the signing of the contract.

    A proper format of the employment contract can be obtained from the Costa Rica Government Labor Department to facilitate the employer–employee relationship.