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4 in 10 Costa Rican Businesses Violate Minimum Wage Standards

October 17, 2010

A random sample by the Labor Ministry has found that 38 percent of businesses in Costa Rica don’t comply with minimum wage requirements
 
The highest level of noncompliance occurs in the Central Valley, followed by the central Pacific region.
 
The results were obtained through 1,948 site visits over the course of a month, as part of President Laura Chinchilla’s new Minimum Wage Campaign.
 
According to the Labor Ministry, businesses are given 15 days to correct noncompliance. If they fail to respond, they will be fined.  
 
Since the Minimum Wage Campaign began, nearly 4,000 callers have contacted the new minimum wage hotline (800-TRABAJO), which has resulted in the finding of 260 violations.
 
The minimum wage varies depending on the worker’s occupation. For example, someone in charge of cleaning pools should receive at least ₡7,194 ($14.29) a day, and a florist should be paid ₡7,984 ($15.86) a day. A receptionist should receive a minimum of ₡231,271 ($459.43) a month. The full list can be found at the Labor Ministry Web site: http://www.ministrabajo.go.cr/sminimos.pdf
 
A challenge for businesses is that required taxes, public health insurance, pension contributions and other benefits can cost the employer up to an additional 45 percent of a worker’s salary.

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