On April 2018, in the case ‘‘Rica, Carlos Martín c/ Hospital Alemán y otros s/ despido’’ the National Supreme Court of Justice overruled the lower court ruling and decided that the relationship between a medical doctor and the hospital did not constitute a labor relationship and should be considered a civil services contract.
The Supreme Court based its decision, among other facts, on the following facts and arguments.
First, that the medical doctors only collected fees in respect to the services actually performed, and they do not collect any fees in case they do not perform services. Also, the Supreme Court considered that the medical doctors decided unilaterally the amount of their actual fees. Additionally, the Supreme Court also considered that the claimant issued correlative invoices and each invoice was for a different amount. On the other hand, the local tax authorities carried on an investigation at the hospital and concluded that from a tax perspective, there wasn’t a labor relationship between the hospital and the medical doctor.
Also, the Supreme Court took into consideration that the hospital paid fees to the medical doctors (including the claimant) only after the health insurance companies paid to the hospital the correspondent invoices issued by the hospital that included the medical doctor´s bills and therefore, the medical doctors bear with the hospital the commercial risk of the activity. Lastly, the Supreme Court considered the fact that the medical doctor did not raised any claim for almost the entire seven years that his relationship with the hospital lasted, as well as the fact that many medical doctors also performed services outside the scope of the hospital and that each medical doctor decided by himself/herself their working hours and found no evidence about paid holidays or leaves.
These facts and arguments led the Supreme Court to conclude that the relationship between the claimant and the hospital was not a labor relationship but a civil services relationship.