The rights that the employees do have to notice on termination of employment will mostly depend on the termination motive.

According to Colombian labor legislation, employment agreements may terminate (i) without cause; (ii) with cause; (iii) due to the expiration of the term of duration; (iv) due to the termination of the task or job hired; and (v) by mutual consent.

Under all the above mentioned scenarios, employees that are being terminated are entitled to verify if their final liquidation has been properly calculated (social benefits, vacations, legal indemnity and other labor concepts to which they are entitled to have been calculated with the corresponding average).

Moreover, employees will verify if the extralegal benefits agreed upon termination have been taken into account when calculating the final separation payments. Retention clauses, golden parachutes and other concepts are the typical rights that the employees will watch over.

When a cause is invoked to end a labor relationship, employees have the right to allege an unfair dismissal arguing that they do not correspond to the causes expressly listed in Article 62 of the Labor Code.

On the other hand, termination without cause is always an alternative to end a relationship, provided that the legal indemnity is paid and that the employee does not enjoy strengthened labor stability.

Many would have thought that the legal indemnity would prevent the company from being sued by the dismissed employee as it covers the general damages and the loss of profits. However, in 2000 the Constitutional Court stated that the employees dismissed without cause, could claim additional compensation when evidencing more serious damage (i.e. moral damages).

The fact that they are aware of stability protections will also confer them a better economic position in case of a negotiation of the termination of the employment agreement.

In employment agreements for fixed term duration, the employees do have to notice if the letter to notify that the duration will not be renewed has been submitted on term or if an automatic extension has operated. They will also have the right to claim the legal indemnity corresponds to the time remaining until the completion of the term if terminated before.

Employees hired for the duration of the job or task must bear out if the project or activity has truly ended and if the cause that has given rise to the job does not exist anymore. In this case, they will also have the right to claim the legal indemnity corresponds to the time remaining until the completion of the task or job if terminated without them being accomplished.

In many cases, employers prefer to offer mutual consent terminations, formalized through settlement agreements that seek for a waiver and release from the employees to avoid claims or legal controversies.

Now, under all termination scenarios, employees are entitled to receive a certification that evidences the time worked for the company, salary, and position.

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