Littler Global Guide - Brazil - Q1 2019

Browse through brief employment and labor law updates from around the globe. Contact a Littler attorney for more information or view our global locations.

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President Issues a Decree on Union Contributions

New Order or Decree

Author: Renata Neeser, Shareholder – Littler United States

The Brazilian President signed into law the Provisory Measure (MP) # 873 on March 1, 2019. The MP # 873 modified and deleted some provisions of the Brazilian Labor Code (CLT) relating to union dues. When the CLT was modified in 2017, the mandatory payment of union dues became subject to employee’s authorization. The unions have since struggled with the severe reduction in their revenues and have been using different approaches to collect some of such dues. The main changes brought by the new MP is clarification that unions need prior, individual, voluntary, and express authorization from employees and cannot impose union fees approved by assembly vote and apply an opt-out system. The MP is legally binding from the date it is enacted, but Congress must approve it within 120 days or its effectiveness ends.

Brazilian Superior Labor Court Issues New Conciliation and Mediation Protocol

New Regulation or Official Guidance

Author: Renata Neeser, Shareholder – Littler United States

On March 26, 2019, the Brazilian Superior Labor Court (TST) issued a procedure for the Vice Presidency of the Court to mediate settlements of collective claims subject to the TST’s ordinary jurisdiction. It is also to be used as a reference by the 24 Regional Labor Courts (TRTs) on the conciliation and mediation of collective claims under their ordinary jurisdiction. The idea is to harmonize the procedures. According to the TST, this methodology has provided good results. In 2018, of 19 pre-trial requests for conciliation, 16 reached a settlement. In general, the court-sponsored settlements are growing whether for collective or individual claims, through the Conciliation Centers of the Labor Justice (Cejuscs) in each state. The 77th Cejusc was installed in the State of Parana this March. In 2018, there were 217,081 conciliation meetings and 96,081 resulted in settlements amounting to about $750,000,000 in payments to employees.

Judge Accepts Settlement via WhatsApp


Author: Renata Neeser, Shareholder – Littler United States

A judge from the 76th Labor Court of Sao Paulo accepted the participation of a plaintiff by video conference using WhatsApp. The plaintiff lives more than 1,000 miles from Sao Paulo and could not attend the hearing in person. The plaintiff’s lawyer present at the hearing called the client during the hearing at the agreement of the judge. After showing his ID to the judge and agreeing to the terms of the proposed settlement, the judge ratified the settlement. The number of courts allowing the use of this app for the purpose of settlements is growing based on the interpretation that the Mediation Law 13.140 of 2015 allows mediation using the internet and other communication systems, and the Civil Procedure Code of 2016 also allows conciliation and mediation hearings to be conducted electronically. The use of technology has been an important tool to resolve disputes.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.