Claim your benefits

In the precarious situation of finding themselves faced with a dismissal of any nature, with changes in working conditions, or with the employer's refusal to pay labor benefits, the worker is often at a disadvantage, due to not knowing the time within which you can assert your rights.

It is important for workers to keep in mind that their labor rights do not last a lifetime, there is a period of time within which the rights can be exercised, and over time, they are lost.

A worker who is dismissed will have a certain time to be able to request the payment of his compensation, after the time established by law, the employer is no longer obliged to pay said amount.

This loss of the right to be able to claim the payment of a labor benefit is called prescription, and specifically extinctive prescription, and it is nothing more than the extinction of an obligation due to the passage of time.

The deadline for claiming compensation is 30 days. It is important to mention that these days are business days, that is, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays must be discounted. Most of the time it is 40 calendar days, but this calculation should never be relied upon without taking the calendar and counting each business day to be certain of the claim.

This means that in the event that there is an unjustified dismissal, and in the face of the employer's refusal to pay compensation, the worker has 30 working days from the day after his dismissal to claim said payment before the corresponding jurisdictional bodies. It should be understood that in practice with competent jurisdictional bodies we refer to the Courts of First Instance for Labor and Social Welfare. There is a Labor Court in each department of the country, with the exception of the Department of Guatemala, where there are 13 courts, due to the volume of existing claims. It is also important to note that the courts of first instance should not be confused with the justices of the peace, which are of lower rank and have a presence in almost all the municipalities of the country.

In another case, in which the worker observes the change in working conditions (a topic that we will deal with in a future article), such as salary reduction, unjustified change of workplace, change of attributions to less convenient ones, etc. The worker has the term to terminate his employment contract indirectly, for a period of twenty business days, counted from the day after the changes in conditions occurred.

The annual bonus payment rights for workers in the public and private sector (bonus 14), Christmas bonus, payment of vacations not taken, incentive bonus payment and all other rights established in the labor code, have a limitation period of two years, counted from the day after the dismissal (criterion taken by the Constitutional Court). This implies that if a worker was fired and the employer has not paid him labor benefits, even though 30 business days have passed to claim compensation, the worker does have the right to claim his inalienable labor benefits within the period of two years.

In addition to this, it must be understood that in many work centers there are also rights that are not established by law, but are established in a collective agreement on working conditions, rights such as an increase in the number of annual vacation days, special bonuses, days off in addition to the law, and an infinity of special rights, which have a four-month statute of limitations.

On the other hand, it is also important that the worker knows the prescriptions that are in his favor, that is, established deadlines in which the employer must act. A clear example of these situations is when the worker commits a lack of work, an infraction, a disciplinary offense or a cause for dismissal.

The employer has only 20 business days to fire a worker who has committed a cause for dismissal, or 20 business days to sanction a worker who has committed a minor offense. This means that an employer cannot justifiably dismiss a worker who has committed an offense two months ago, since it would be an unjustified dismissal, it means that work absences prescribe in 20 days, after that period of time, you should not sanction him This period begins to run from the time the employer becomes aware of the commission of the fault.

It is important to know the legal deadlines to exercise our rights, do not hesitate to ask any questions or queries on this page, Facebook, or through the contact channel at the bottom, it will be a pleasure to advise you.

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