Laws of Puerto Rico
Title Five. Agriculture
Chapter 102. General Cooperative Associations Act
Subchapter XIII. Associated Labor Cooperatives
§ 4570 Purpose
Associated labor cooperatives are those whose purpose is the shared execution of productive services or professional work with the goal of providing stable and convenient work sources for themselves in which their worker members manage all activities for the purpose of generating productive activities which allow them to receive financial and social benefits. The property regime of the production means in these cooperatives is of a social and indivisible nature.
§ 4571 Definitions
(a) Associated labor cooperatives.-- Shall mean those cooperatives whose members contribute work and capital for the development of [an] entrepreneurial activity for the production in common of goods and services for third parties in which most of the capital of the cooperative is owned by the workers.
(b) Worker-members.-- Shall mean natural persons who are legally able to perform any economic activity for the cooperative, whether professional or for the production of goods and services of any sort, in exchange for participation in its government and in the earnings generated by the cooperative, including persons over eighteen (18) years or more, provided that their parents with patria potestas or their guardian give their express written consent thereto.
(c) Non-member workers.-- Shall mean employees contracted by the cooperative who are not members thereof, but carry out work in exchange for a salary.
(d) Collaborators.-- Shall mean non-profit natural or juridical public or private persons who contribute to the corporate capital pursuant to the provisions of the bylaws and the articles of incorporation of the cooperative. The collective contributions of the workers shall not exceed forty-five percent (45% ) of the corporate capital of the cooperative.
(e) Chief executive.-- Shall mean a duly qualified person appointed by the Board of Directors to conduct the administrative duties of the cooperative. The Board of Directors shall establish in writing the selection criteria and qualifications that such administrator shall have, according to the demands of the cooperative, as well as the terms, conditions and responsibilities of the position, if they are in addition to those established herein.
§ 4572 Membership requirements
The bylaws of the cooperative shall establish the term of the probation period and the conditions for granting membership to worker-members.
§ 4573 Number of members required
Associated labor cooperatives shall be constituted by a minimum of five (5) members with legal capacity to contribute their productive work. The number of members shall be determined by the productive resources of the cooperative and its ability to generate regular work positions. The cooperative shall not be bound to maintain or accept new members when said number of members is surpassed.
§ 4574 Admission and reduction of members
Once a worker requests admission to the Board of Directors as a member, the Board shall have a maximum of six (6) months to accept or reject his/her request. Permanent cessation as a worker in the cooperative shall determine cessation as a worker- member.
The definite reduction of the number of member work positions in the cooperative shall only be used to maintain its entrepreneurial feasibility when the Board of Directors or the assembly of members so determine due to financial, technical, or organizational causes, or due to force majeure. The bylaws of the cooperative shall provide regarding these matters.
§ 4575 Capital contributions
Worker-members as a group shall own not less than fifty-five percent (55% ) of the corporate capital of the cooperative. No members may individually own more than forty-five percent (45% ) of the corporate capital.
§ 4576 On work committees within the cooperative
All associated labor cooperatives with less than eight (8) members shall be exempted from the duty to elect or appoint a supervision committee, in which case the assembly shall provide for said position to be filled by a member who is not a member of the Board of Directors.
§ 4577 Exemptions
All income obtained from preferred shares or loans granted to the associated labor cooperative shall be exempted from the payment of income tax pursuant to state laws.