Social Rights and Guarantees

Title V Social Rights and Guarantees

Article 50

The State shall procure the greatest welfare of all inhabitants of the country, organizing and promoting production and the most adequate distribution of wealth.

Every person has the right to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment, being therefore entitled to denounce any acts that may infringe said right and claim redress for the damage caused.
The State shall guarantee, defend and preserve that right. The Law shall establish the appropriate responsibilities and penalties.
(As amended by Article 1, Law No. 7412, June 3, 1994.)

Article 51

The family, as a natural element and foundation of society, is entitled to State protection. Mothers, children, the elderly and the destitute infirm are also entitled to such protection.

Article 52

Marriage is the essential basis of the family and rests on equality of the rights of spouses.

Article 53

Parents have the same obligations toward children born out of wedlock that they have toward those born within it.
Everyone is entitled to know who his parents are, in accordance with the law.

Article 54

Any personal qualification based on the nature of affiliation is prohibited.

Article 55

The special protection of mothers and minors shall be entrusted to an autonomous institution named Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (National Infancy Foundation), with the collaboration of other State institutions.

Article 56

Labor is a right of the individual and an obligation to society. The State shall strive to see that everyone has lawful and useful employment, duly compensated, and prevent the establishment on that account of conditions which may in any way curtail human freedom or dignity or degrade his labor to the status of mere merchandise. The State guarantees the right to free choice of work.

Article 57

Every worker is entitled to a minimum wage, to be fixed periodically, for a normal working day, which will provide for his welfare and a decent living. Wages shall always be equal for equal work under identical conditions of efficiency.

A technical organization to be defined by the law shall be in charge of all matters related to the fixing of minimum wages.

Article 58

A regular working day for daytime work may not exceed eight hours a day or forty-eight hours a week. The regular working day for night work may not exceed six hours a day or thirty-six hours a week. Overtime work shall be paid at a rate of fifty percent above the stipulated wages or salaries. However, these provisions shall not apply in well-defined exceptional cases, to be determined by law.

Article 59

All workers shall be entitled to one day of rest after six consecutive days of work and to annual paid vacations, the duration and time of which shall be regulated by law, but which shall not be in any case less than two weeks for every fifty weeks of continuous service, all without prejudice to well-defined exceptions established by law.

Article 60

Both employers and workers may organize freely, for the exclusive purpose of obtaining and preserving economic, social or professional benefits. Foreigners are prohibited from exercising direction or authority in unions.

Article 61

The right of employers to lockout and of workers to strike is recognized, except in public services, as they are determined by law and in accordance with the legal regulations on the subject, which shall prohibit all acts of coercion or violence.

Article 62

Collective labor agreements shall have force of law, if entered into by and between employers or employers' unions and legally organized trade unions, in accordance with the law.

Article 63

Workers removed without a fair cause shall be entitled to compensation unless they are covered by unemployment insurance.

Article 64

The State shall promote the creation of cooperatives as a means to provide better living conditions for workers.

Article 65

The State shall promote the construction of low-cost housing and create a family homestead for workers.

Article 66

Every employer shall adopt in his enterprises any measures necessary for the health and safety of workers.

Article 67

The State shall see to the technical and cultural training for workers.

Article 68

No discrimination shall be made with regard to wages, advantages, or working conditions between Costa Ricans and foreigners, or with respect to any group of workers. Under equal conditions, Costa Rican workers shall receive preference.

Article 69

Rural sharecropper contracts shall be regulated in order to assure a rational exploitation of the land and the equitable distribution of its produce between proprietors and tenants.

Article 70

A labor jurisdiction shall be established under the Judicial Branch.

Article 71

The laws shall provide special protection to women and minors in their work.

Article 72

Until unemployment insurance is established, the State shall maintain a permanent technical system of protection for those involuntarily unemployed and shall strive to restore them to employment.

Article 73

Social security is established for the benefit of manual and intellectual workers, regulated by a system of compulsory contributions by the State, employers and workers, to protect them against the risks of illness, disability, maternity, old age, death and other contingencies as determined by law.

The administration and direction of social security shall be entrusted to an autonomous institution named Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (Costa Rican Social Security Administration).
Social security funds and reserves may not be transferred or used for purposes other than those for which they were created.

Occupational risk insurance shall be exclusively at the expense of employers, being governed by special provisions.
(As amended by Law No. 2737, May 12, 1961.)

Article 74

The rights and benefits to which this Chapter refers may not be waived. Their enumeration does not exclude others that may be derived from the Christian principle of social justice or established by law. They shall be equally applicable to all the concurrent factors in the process of production and regulated by social and labor legislation, striving for a permanent policy of national solidarity