Caja inspector had clear duty to keep hubby legal, court says

If an inspector for the Caja Costarricense de Seguros Social also has her own business and fails to make mandatory monthly payments for her employees, should she be fired?

Incredibly the Juzgado de Trabajo del Segundo Circuito Judicial did not think so. That labor court ordered the woman reinstated to her inspector’s job.

It took appeals court decisions to keep the woman off the public payroll.

That latest decision was by the Sala Segunda, which is the final work on labor issues.

The case of the unnamed Caja worker began in 2005 when she was fired. The Caja found out that the woman with more than 15 years on the job also operated a small restaurant along with the man who was then her husband.

Because she did not list her employees and pay the required monthly social service charges, the Caja fired her without responsibilities after an investigation. Without responsibilities means that the Caja had a just case and did not have to pay severance.

The woman carried the action to the labor court and argued that it was her husband and not she who operated the restaurant.

The court accepted some of this argument and ordered that she be reinstated. But the Caja appealed, and a second panel agreed that she should have been terminated. As part of the evidence was the local business license that was in the woman’s name, as well as the Ministerio de Salud health permit.

Part of an inspector’s duties is to locate individuals who do not pay what they are suppose to and do not list their employees for the state medical care and pensions.

The woman appealed to the Sala Segunda the adverse decision by the second panel. But the Sala Segunda upheld the dismissal and said that the woman at least had the obligation to tell her husband to list the restaurant employees with the Caja.

The Poder Judicial released a summary of the decision Tuesday.

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