Dominican Republic: New Criteria for Employers Hiring Foreign Nationals
Author: Amado Sánchez de Camps
The Third Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) had previously established the criterion that an employer did not fulfill his responsibility if he hired a non-national (foreign) worker with an irregular migratory status and did not register him with the Dominican Social Security System (SDSS), since the authorities did not establish the mechanisms for such workers to be registered. In this sense, the employer did not breach his social security duty because he was not obliged to do the impossible. The Supreme Court of Justice applied this precedent consistently for about a decade.
However, the Assembled Chambers of the SCJ amended that criterion in a sentence dated 21 April 2022 (SCJ-SR-22-0006), establishing that employers are well-informed of the law and the related regulations and therefore cannot omit such information from their applications, since they would inevitably benefit from their own faults. Similarly, the decision indicates that the previous thesis promoted hiring foreign workers so as not to comply with their social security duties, which is contrary to what the International Labour Organization dictates.
Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel
It is not recommended to hire foreign employees if they lack a valid passport, work visa and residence permits, particularly if such requirements allow them to boast a regular immigration status that facilitates their ability to be registered with the Dominican Social Security System (SDSS).