STF calls on Labor Courts for non-compliance with precedents

On December 5, 2023, in addition to the Federal Supreme Court (STF) unanimously overturning a decision that recognized the employment relationship between a driver and a delivery app called Cabify, which currently no longer serves the national territory, it also notified the National Council of Justice (CNJ) about the repeated decisions of the Labor Courts for non-compliance with STF precedents. The letter requested a survey of these repeated decisions and a position on the case.

The case judged at the STF session deals with a decision by the Regional Labor Court of the 3rd Region of Minas Gerais (RCL 60.347) that recognized the employment relationship, which was questioned in the face of non-compliance with a series of court precedents, such as Extraordinary Appeal 958.252, which gave rise to theme 725 that discussed, among other points, the lawfulness of outsourcing services of any activity to achieve the company’s core business.

In view of the case and the repeated decisions, the justices disagreed with the constant disregard for the Supreme Court’s decisions, since this could lead to legal uncertainty and a greater number of cases on the subject to be judged by the court.

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Plenary decision on non-compliance with precedents

According to Alexandre de Morais, the rapporteur of the case, the Plenary has already decided that the Federal Constitution does not impose a single way of structuring production, and that economic agents are guaranteed the principle of free enterprise. In other words, they are given the freedom to choose their business strategies within the current framework. For his part, Justice Luiz Fux stated that, if the Labor Court persists in disregarding the STF’s rulings, it is necessary for the court to adopt measures to correct this situation, which led to the aforementioned letter.

With the judgment, the court reaffirmed the freedom to negotiate and outsource company activities, which provides greater legal certainty and mitigates labor liabilities. However, the structure of these contracts must comply with the Supreme Court’s precedents.

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Written by Daniel Rangel and Julia Soares

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