Legal Affairs

DIVISION OF LABOUR STANDARDS

LEGAL AFFAIRS SECTION

Introduction:

The Legal Affairs Section of the Ministry of Labour, otherwise referred to as the Office of the Labour Solicitor, is the seat of the Labour Solicitor, who by Law must be a Lawyer. It is composed of legally qualified staff members of the Ministry and others who are clerically and administratively qualified to assist the Labour Solicitor.

Mission, Responsibilities and Scope of Operation:

The mission of the Legal Affairs Section is to provide adequate representation of indigent complainants with proven financial inability to retain Counsel in all matters before the Ministry and others at appellate levels before the National Labour Court and the Supreme Court of Liberia. See Chapter 6 – The LABOUR SOLICITOR of the Decent Work Act of Liberia. In addition to its primary duties, the Section plays an advisory role to other departments at the Ministry on general labour matters where legality is at issue.

Civil Service employees are not covered by the DWA and thus, do not fall within the province of employees to be represented by the Labour Solicitor.

In addition to representation of complainants at litigation, the Office of the Labour Solicitor has begun to use Alternative Depute Resolution (ADR) approaches at pre-trial conference to resolve complaints assigned to it in avoidance of litigation.

Key Priority:

The following are key priorities of the Office of the Labour Solicitor:

  • Speedy resolution of complaints through ADR
  • Adequate Representation of Indigents
  • Guidance to Employers and Employees on required labour standards in the workplace

ACHIEVEMENT:

Under the reporting period of 2018, the Office of the Labour Solicitor achieved the following in regards to treatment of complaints assigned before it for resolution and or litigation:

Reporting Period: April – September 2018

No. Month Resolved Ongoing Dismissed Pending  
  April 8 12 7 5  
  May 7 5 1 4  
  June 5 6 2 9  
  July 4 5 1    
  August – September 8 5 1 1  
  Total 32 33 12 19 96
  Total Cases Filed         147

Note that records from January – March 2018 representing complaints assigned before the Section are not captured on account of deferral of treatment to late March and April due to inactivity subsisting during the transitional period following the 2018 Presidential Election at the Ministry.

STRATEGY FOR 2019:

In line with our duties as prescribed in Chapter 6 of the Decent Work of Liberia, the following have been identified as strategies for the year 2019:

  • Training of staff members on ADR process and legal representation of indigent complainants before Hearings through enrollment in local legal institutes
  • Enhance collaboration with the Inspectorate to ensure due process adherence
  • Ensure In-Service certificate training programs for staff members
  • Liaise with Senior Ministerial Management Team to work with partners to afford labour dispute resolution trainings opportunities abroad for staff members