Taxi driver is ruled an employee

The owner of a taxi suffered a reverse when the Sala Segunda, the labor section of the Corte Suprema de Justicia, determined that a driver was an employee and not a renter of the vehicle.

The decision has implications for many employers.

The driver said he began work in 2007 and continued through 2012 when he was fired. He sought a litany of money for damages, including overtime, vacations, the aguinaldo Christmas bonus, payment for night hours, holiday pay, pay for his dismissal and money for the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social in his name.

The man said he worked for 320,000 colons a month, roughly $640 depending on the exchange rate, and that he had a daily income quota established by the taxi owner.

The court said that there clearly was an employer-employee relationship. That had been determined in lower courts, but appeals brought the case to the Sala Segunda.

A lower court ordered payment of some 5 million colons to the driver and reported the taxi owner to the Caja for action there. The Sala Segunda basically upheld that ruling.

Garland Baker has written extensively in A.M. Costa Rica about the employee relationship as they relate to expats. One such article is HERE!

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