From Lexology, Juan Felipe Santos, Sara E. Colon-Acevedo and Maralyssa Alvarez-Sanchez report on recent legislation in Puerto Rico that creates non-rebuttable presumption of independent contractor status if certain requirements are met. They write:
In an unprecedented but anticipated move, on January 14, 2017, the Puerto Rico House of Representatives approved the Act, House Bill 453 (HB 453). The Senate approved on January 19, 2017, an amended version of HB 453. The House of Representatives is expected to approve the amended version and Governor Ricardo Rosselló is expected to quickly sign HB 453 into law.
HB 453 dramatically changes the employment landscape in Puerto Rico and provides more flexibility in the workplace. Among the most significant amendments in HB 453 are the following:
- The Closing Law is mostly repealed, eliminating operating restrictions and special compensation applicable to covered retail industries on Sundays and certain holidays.
- The concept of an “employment contract” is defined expressly to exclude from the employment relationship the services provided by independent contractors, among others.
- The establishment of a non-rebuttable presumption of independent contractor relationship status, provided specific requirements are met. It also provides that, unless required by a federal law applicable to Puerto Rico, the “economic reality” test should not be used to evaluate whether an independent contractor relationship exists.