Arroyo v. Rattan Specialties, Inc

In Arroyo v. Rattan Specialties, Inc., 117 P.R. Offic. Trans. 49; 117 D.P.R. 35 (P.R. 1986), the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico recognized an exception to Law 80 that applies when an employer's decision to terminate an employee was made in violation of a public policy of constitutional magnitude. In Arroyo, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico held that Law 80 "cannot operate to deprive the worker of the adequate remedies for effectively vindicating his constitutional rights." Id. at 76. Accordingly, the court concluded that dismissal of an employee who refused to submit to a polygraph test "subverts a constitutional-ranking public policy." Id. In reaching this determination, the court explicitly relied on section 1 of the Puerto Rico Bill of Rights, which provides, "the dignity of the human being is inviolable . . . ," and section 8, which provides, "every person has the right to the protection of law against abusive attacks on his honor, reputation and private or family life." See id. at 69.