a) Receive written instructions?
In Panama, there are no legal regulations for conducting employee interviews. There is no obligation to provide written instructions to the interviewee. If an employee is required to participate in an interview, the employer can provide a verbal explanation of the reasons or causes for the interview.
b) Be informed that he/she must not make statements that would mean any kind of self-incrimination?
It is not necessary. If the interview will be taped, it is advisable to inform the interviewee and obtain consent before moving forward with the interview.
c) Be informed that the lawyer attending the interview is the lawyer for the company and not he lawyer for the interview (so-called Upjohn warning)?
There is no Upjohn warning obligation under local law. However, it is common practice for a lawyer to communicate to the employee that they are attending the interview on behalf of the company. If an external lawyer will be present at the interview, the interviewee must be informed. There is no obligation for the employer to accept a request by the interviewee to have a lawyer present at the interview. Nevertheless, an employee can refuse to participate in the interview or answer questions.
d) Be informed that he/she has the right to have his/her lawyer attends?
The employer does not have the obligation to inform the interviewee that he/she has the right to have a lawyer present at the interview.
e) Be informed that he/she has the right to have a representative from the work council (or other employee representative body) attend?
If the employee is a member of a labor union, the employee has the right to have a representative of
the union present during the interview.
f) Be informed that data may be transferred across borders (in particular to the United States)?
Under the Panamanian Labor Code, there is no obligation to inform employees of cross-border data transfers. However, if the information is considered personal data, in
general terms, and unless said, transfer is under the exceptions included in Law 81 and its Regulation, c consent will be required for the information to be collected, stored, and transferred.
g) Sign a data privacy waiver?
There is no obligation on employers to provide employees a data privacy waiver. However, if personal information (personal data, sensitive, confidential, or restricted) is expected to be discussed at the interview, and this information will be collected, stored, treated, or transferred, based on Law 81 and its Regulation, it is recommended that the interviewee sign a waiver consenting to the use, collection, storage, and treatment in general of personal information incompliance of the Regulation.
h) Be informed that the information gathered might be passed on to third parties, including local or foreign authorities?
Yes, we recommend that the interviewee be informed that information gathered at the interview may be shared with third parties, and that consent is requested by the employer to share this information. Note that if the employer is legally required to share information obtained at the interview, then consent from the employee is not required and the information may be passed to local or foreign authorities without taking any additional steps.
i) Be informed that written notes will be taken?
Before beginning an interview, employers should inform employees that written notes will be taken and that they may be asked to sign the minutes or records of the interview.
During the interview, it is recommended that the company be represented by at least two witnesses that should sign the final minutes or report of the interview.