New Rules Prevent Undue Delays in Settling Labor Disputes

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The Ministry of Labor has instituted stringent measures aimed at protecting employers and employees at workplaces across the country.

According to a statement issued by the entity’s Director of Communications J. Kortu Nyandibo, quoting Minister Neto Z. Lighe, the new guidelines, named; ‘Regulation 19’ is intended to “facilitate the speedy and expeditious disposition of all Labor actions filed before it.”

The move is to afford the Ministry the opportunity to quickly arrest labor related matters, arising from workplaces.

“Pursuant to Section 34.2(a) of the Executive Law which empowers and authorizes the Ministry to regulate and set guidelines for the protection of the rights of both employees and employers in the country, and in conformity with Section 4302 (3) of Chapter 42 of the Labor Practices Law of Liberia, the ministry announces the regulation setting forth the timing and duration of labor hearings,” Lighe declared.

Providing details about the new rules, the Labor boss said Section 1 of Regulation 19 specifies and mandates that “all Labor hearings at the Ministry of Labor shall be concluded in a minimum of two months and the maximum of six months.’’

“All hearing officers are mandated in the spirit of speedy and expeditious disposition of Labor actions or disputes, to declare null and void, all cases pending before the Ministry of Labor and which the parties litigant and/or their counsels have failed to proceed or continue after 120 days, for abandonment and failure to proceed.

“Section 2 also assures that this mandate is in keeping with Article II Section 9 of Appendix No. 3 of the Labor Law and Labor Practices Law of Liberia,” he said.

According to Lighe, pronouncement of this regulation becomes imperative owing to the increased number of protracted cases on the docket of hearing officers at the Division of Labor Standards.  It therefore is deemed expedient to guide against undue delays in handling labor disputes.

It is in the same spirit and intent of speedy and timely investigation of labor cases that the question of default judgment was raised and regulated in several labor related laws introduced by the government of Liberia, said Lighe.

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