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Brazil - Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints

Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - Brazil - 2019    

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Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
- If a just cause is not recognized by the Court, the employee is entitled to compensation for dismissal without cause = 40% of the total amount deposited in the FGTS ("Fundo de Garantia por Tempo de Serviço". This amounts to: 40% x 8% x length of service (in months). This compensation for termination of employment is not payable until one year of employment has been completed.

-Workers under a fixed-term contract who are dismissed without cause are also entitled in addition to the above mentioned amount, to the payment of sum equal to half the remuneration to which he or she would have been entitled on the expiry of the contract.


Reinstatement available: Yes

  • Compensation through the FGTS system is usually the only remedy for unfair dismissal.
    However reinstatement is available in the following situation:
    * Dismissal of workers who had acquired the right of security of tenure after ten years of service before the adoption of the 1988 Constitution (= those hired before 1978). If a serious offence is not duly established, they shall be reinstated or be awarded compensation if the Court declares that reinstatement is not advisable (art. 495 CLL).
    * The same rules apply to those categories of employees enjoying job stability (i.e. pregnant women, member of a trade union board and workers' representatives on the Internal Accident Prevention Commission (CIPA)). If serious reasons for dismissal are not recognized by the Labour Court, they have the right to be reinstated.

Preliminary mandatory conciliation: Yes

  • Art 764 CLL: All labour disputes, whether individual or collective, which are referred to a labor court shall be submitted to conciliation proceedings before the labour judges.

Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): labour court

  • Art. 643-645 CLL: disputes arising out of relations between employers and employees should be settled by the labour courts. The Labour Court of Appeal, regional labour courts, and the Junta de Conciliação e Julgamento [JCJ] (first instance labour court) or the courts of ordinary jurisdiction have jurisdiction. Recourse to the labour courts is compulsory, without exemption, except for good and sufficient reason.
    - The JCJ are competent to judge and settle disputes in which the recognition of the security of tenure of the employee is claimed and disputes relating to compensation for the cancellation of a contract of employment (art. 652 CLL). In localities which do not fall within the jurisdiction of the conciliation and arbitration boards, the judges of ordinary jurisdiction shall be responsible for the administration of justice in labour matters (art. 668 and 669 CLL).