Panama Adopts A Law To Prevent, Forbid And Punish Acts Of Discrimination

Author:Mr Rigoberto Rivera

The Republic of Panama has recently adopted Law 7 of February 14th, 2018, which regulates all matters related to the protection of the honor, dignity, physical and psychological integrity of individuals who are victims of acts of discrimination.

This law establishes the obligation for every employer, public institution, and educational center, to adopt internal policies to prevent, avoid and penalize bullying behaviors, sexual and/or moral harassment, racism and sexism.

As a result, proceedings for the resolution of complaints and claims related to these acts have to be incorporated to the Internal Labor Regulations, Collective Agreements, and Orders of the Directors.

Sanctions will be imposed on the victim's employers and/or hierarchical superiors, in all public institutions, official or private educational centers, as well as syndicates and unions, that fail to comply with these regulations. These sanctions include:

US$500.00 to US$1,000.00 penalties for infringing companies. Public Institutions' hierarchical superiors will be penalized according to the provisions of the Penal code. Any individual who is found to have carried out any of the acts described in the Law shall be subject to the following penalties, notwithstanding that such conduct may also constitute a punishable act in accordance with the provisions of the Penal Code:

Private Companies' employees will be penalized with termination of the labor contract as established in the Labor Code. Public officials who commit sexual harassment will be sanctioned with termination of the labor contract, as established in the Administrative Career Law. In the case of non-career public servants, the sanction will be according with the Constitution and Law 7. Professors violating the law will be subject to Penal Code sanctions. If the infringing individual is a businessperson, company client, service user, or practices a liberal profession, such...

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