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The right of every working person to obtain a certification of service or a dismissal letter

When an employer ends an employment relationship, the worker has the right to obtain a certification of service or a dismissal letter, depending on the specific cause of dismissal. In this blog we analyze each of these options and the legal options that the person would have to assert his/her rights.

Certification of service or dismissal letter?

When an employment relationship ends due to dismissal with employer responsibility (that is, by the sole will of the employer), the worker has the right to request a certification of service. The certification of service must contain the length of service and the type of work performed. If the worker requests it, they may also detail the way in which they worked and the causes for the withdrawal or termination of the contract. This document is only issued if the worker requests it. This means that once the worker requests it, it becomes an obligation of the employer to issue the employment certificate.

If the employment relationship ends due to dismissal without employer responsibility (that is, because the worker committed a serious breach of the employment contract), the employer has the obligation (regardless of whether the worker has so requested) to issue a letter of dismissal. This document must contain a clear, timely and detailed description of the facts that gave rise to the dismissal.

What can I do if they do not issue my certification of service or my dismissal letter?

Whether the working party does not receive his/her employment certificate or his/her dismissal letter, he/she can take the case to the Constitutional Chamber to request the protection of his/her right. In the case of the certification of service, the worker must demonstrate that he/she requested the issuance of this document to the employer.

At CELIG we provide specialized services to the LGBTQI+ community. If you want more information or make an appointment with us, call us at 2245-0855 / 2253-0256 or write to us at

We are located in San José, Barrio Escalante.

M.Sc. Ana Isabel Sibaja Rojas

CELIG – Center for Equal Litigation