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wholesale dismissals and rehiring of their personnel immediately before the bill goes into effect and later attempt to repeat this practice at certain intervals. The Ministry of Social Relief in this connection refers to section 13 of the law and states that such procedure if attempted would be made subject to court decision with possible punishment of the offender for brutality and evasion of the law. A free translation of the employee law follows:
LAW ON THE LEGAL RELATIONS BETWEEN EMPLOYERS AND
EMPLOYEES IN PRIVATE TRADING DISPUTES
Section 1. The term employee (Privatfunktionaer) in this law comprises all persons in private trading enterprises within commerce, offices, industry, handicraft, agriculture, forestry and gardening, restaurants, entertainment establishments, transportation enterprises and enterprises engaged in the working within the earth or soil such as contractors, excavating firms, etc., provided these persons are employed as commercial or office employees in connection with:
(a) purchases and sales or with office or warehouse work,
(b) the term employee (Privatfunktioner) as used in this law also applies to persons whose work in the position involved predominantly is of an office or commercial nature or which exclusively or chiefly consists of directing or supervising others in behalf of the employer.
Section 2. The working agreement between the employer and the employee can be discontinued only upon notice given in advance except in the case of temporary work and in the case of work performed on a probation basis and provided these types of work do not last more than three months.
The notice of discontinuation cannot be fixed at a shorter grace on the part of the employer than:
One month's notice to take effect from the first day of a month during the first six months after the appointment.
Three months' notice to take effect from the first day of a month after six months' employment.
The grace of the notice is extended by one month for each three years of employment up to a maximum of six months.
However, the employee may be given less than one month notice during the first three months after his appointment in case this has been agreed upon in writing between the parties.
The notice of discontinuation of the service on the part of the employee cannot be fixed at more than one month to the first day of a month except upon written contract in which case a longer notice may be fixed on the part of the employee upon the condition that the time of the notice on the part of the employer is extended in the same proportion.
In case lodging is provided the employee and his family as part of his working agreement the notice on the part of the employer must not be given less than three months in advance. The employee together with his family is entitled to make use of the lodging up to one month after the time of the termination of his service against payment of the rent agreed upon or gratis in case no rent was agreed upon. His family is entitled to the same right in the case of the death of the employee. The employer, however, is entitled to demand that the
family move immediately in case the moving is considered necessary for the operation of the enterprise involved and provided he pays the expenditures connected with the moving.
The regulations are superceded by the regulations regarding notices of the labor unions and the employers associations in the case of legally notified labor stoppages.
Section 3. An employer who without authority refuses to accept the employed person in his service or who dismisses him without authority is liable I provided general rules of compensation should not call for still greater responsibility to pay a compensation corresponding to the wage which would have been earned up to the time when the employed person legally could have been given notice or in case he has already been given notice until the time when the grace of notice expires.
In case the employee involved is employed on the basis of more than three months' notice the compensation is determined upon the general regulations applying to compensations, but in such a manner that he can at least demand the compensation to which he would be entitled by the first section of this paragraph provided the working agreement was based on three months' notice.
Corresponding conditions apply in case the employee is employed for a definite time.
The conditions of this paragraph must be observed also in the case the employee resigns as a result of gross break of contract on the part of the employer.
The claims for compensation dealt with herein enjoy preference in the case of bankruptcy in the same manner as salary claims enjoy priority in accordance with paragraph 33, #2 of the bankruptcy law. Section 4. The employer is entitled to compensation for any loss suffered by him if an employee omits to commence his service or quits without cause or in case the employer discontinues his service account of gross break of contract on the part of the employee.
Section 5. It shall be considered sufficient excuse for the employee in case he through illness becomes unable to perform his duties unless he has contracted his illness intentionally or through gross carelessness during the time of the service or unless he deceitfully concealed his illness at the time of his appointment.
However, it may be decided upon in a written contract that the appointment of the employee shall become null and void without any special notice if the employee within a period of twelve consecutive months has received his pay during 120 days of illness.
The employer is liable by law to furnish the employee complete care and nursing as long as the employee remains in his house in case board and lodging is part of the employee's remuneration.
Section 6. The absence of the employee caused by military maneuvers or by conscription during shorter periods shall be considered sufficient excuse for the employee.
Should an employee die during his time of service his widow and children below the age of eighteen whom he had the duty to support shall receive three months' salary provided the employee had been employed in the enterprise or institution for at least three years. The same right applies to orphans under eighteen years of age provided that they were offspring of a female employee.
Section 8. The employees have the right to organize themselves
to look after their interests.
Any personnel - regardless of its size - has the right through its organization to demand negotiations instituted with the management of the enterprise or institution relative to wage and working conditions. A protocol shall be written on the results of the negotiations and copies be furnished the employer as well as the employees.
Section 9. The employer shall grant the employee the necessary dispensation from his work to seek other employment in case the employee gives or receives notice of termination of his service. The employee shall in this connection consider the employer's wishes with respect to seeking his new employment at times which are the most favorable for the work of the enterprise or institution.
Section 10. The employee is entitled to receive from the employer upon his termination of service a written statement as to the duration of his service stating the type of work in which the employee has mainly been occupied and the amount of pay the employee received at the end of his service and also should he so desire - the reason for the termination of his work.
Section 11. The conditions as found in #36 and #38 of the Law on Agreements of May 8, 1917 shall apply in case the employee has obligated himself on the grounds of competition not to carry on business of a certain type or not to accept employment within such business. However, the obligation on the part of the employee shall be in force only one year from the date of the termination of his service unless he has received or is to receive a reasonable compensation fixed in a written contract for the limitation of his access to employment. The amount of this compensation shall be specified in the contract. Section 12. Should an enterprise or institution wish to take on personnel through anonymous advertising the ad shall clearly specify the type of work the employee is supposed to carry out, also the educational and other qualifications which he is required to have and the minimum wage offered for the work involved.
Anonymous advertising is prohibited in case a cash deposit is required to obtain appointment.
None of the conditions of this law can be alleviated in the disfavor of the employee through any agreement between the parties.
Section 14. The conditions of this law do not apply to the employees dealt with in the Seamen's Law of May 1, 1923 or to apprentices mentioned in the Apprentice Law of May 7, 1937.
This law, which does not include the Faroe Islands,
goes into effect on November 1, 1938.
No. 86, section 2, of the Law on Commission, Commercial Agencies, and Commercial Travellers shall be null and void from the same date. Section 16. This law is subject to revision during the Parliament session 1941-42.
THE DIVISION OF COMMERCIAL LAWS IS READY TO
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IN TIME FOR THE LIMA CONFERENCE the long awaited fifth volume of the Derecho Internacional Publico of Antonio Sanchez de Bustamante
y Sirven rolled off the press at Habana. Like its four previous volumes on public and three on private international law, this volume, devoted to international procedure, with difficulty confines in five hundred pages the prodigious learning and omnivorous activity of its distinguished author. Of particular interest are the six chapters on the procedure before the Permanent Court of International Justice at The Hague, with which Judge Bustamante has long been identified. COMMENTARY ON PAN AMERICAN PROBLEMS is the title of a pamphlet enclosing three lectures delivered by Dr. Alfaro, a contributor to this number of COMPARATIVE LAW SERIES, at Harvard University last term, under the auspices of the Oscar S. Straus Memorial, on The Achievements of the Pan American Conferences, Peace in the Americas, and The Significance of the Solidarity of the Americas.
PEACE IN THE AMERICAS has often depended, Dr. Alfaro shows, on the solution of boundary questions. The number of pacific solutions is astonishing and admirable the methods by which they were reached. The spirit of the Americas was lately revealed vividly in the maiden speech of a new Academician of Venezuela, Carlos Alamo Ybarra, on The Frontiers of Venezuela with British Guiana. In ninety fascinating pages the story of the events leading up to one of the notable international arbitrations of modern history is colorfully recounted. At one point, closing a passage dealing with the historic Message of President Cleveland, the speaker pauses and asks:
Senores, un minuto de silencio en honor de aquel noble hombre publico Norte-Americano.
FOREIGN LAW COMMENT
Commercial Law and Legal Notes*
Business Regulation, Proposed Legislation. Some time ago the Executive Power forwarded to Congress a Bill aiming to assist the development of domestic manufacturing industries. With reference to the bill, the Union Industrial Argentina, which corresponds to the National Manufacturers' Association, has addressed a note to the President of the Chamber of Deputies, in which, while conforming to the general projects, it suggests modification of the following provisions:
(1) That the 70 percent of all employees and laborers of industries benefiting by the Law be of Argentine nationality, be reduced to 50 percent;
(2) That the time limit of 18 months for the establishment of any new industry subject to the benefits of the Law, be increased to 30 months;
(3) That the tax exemption on the workmen's houses which, by the proposed Law, would include only those built after January 1, 1939, be extended to others which have already been built by socially-minded employees.
This Bill made little advance during the previous Session of Congress and will probably not be considered during the forthcoming special Session. At the next regular Session, its progress will be watched and developments reported in COMPARATIVE LAW SERIES.
Labor, Employer and Employee, Law 11,729. Cronista Comercial reports a decision recently rendered wherein an employee discharged by the Banco de Prestamos of the Province of Cordoba claimed benefits in accordance with the provisions of Law 11,729. In the lower court, his claim was rejected on the grounds that he was employed by the Province of Cordoba, and hence did not have the right to the benefits of the law, which only covers employees engaged in commerce, and in some instances, those employed in industry. On appeal, the original decision was reversed, the court holding that the bank, in spite of its official character, engages in commercial operations.
This later decision is said to be opposed to earlier precedents established by other tribunals of the country and is, therefore, indicative of the urgent necessity of proper clarification of Law No. 11,729.
Labor, Employer and Employee, Conditions of Employment. From the jurisprudence established in Argentina, it is considered of importance, if not of necessity, to have clearly understood, defined and published, "conditions of employment," governing the attendance, duties, and obligations of employees. This statement (reglamento de trabajo) has, in court decisions, been of definite assistance to the employer in those cases where he has had a copy of the conditions signed by the employee. A question that has remained involves the possible enforcement of the acceptance of such conditions of employment on *From the Office of the American Commercial Attache, Buenos Aires.