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- Puerto Rico Governor Issues Executive Order Relaxing COVID-19 Restrictions
On June 3, 2021, Puerto Rico Governor Hon. Pedro Pierluisi issued Executive Order (EO) 2021-043 to further relax COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines. The new EO will be in effect from June 7, 2021 until July 4, 2021. The Order expands the maximum capacity limits for establishments and relaxes mask requirements for fully vaccinated individuals.
- Puerto Rico House Seeks to Undo Sections of the 2017 Labor Reform
The Puerto Rico House of Representatives has introduced House Bill 3, which seeks to amend and repeal certain sections of the Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act of 2017, also known as the 2017 Puerto Rico Labor Reform. The House held a Public Session for Final Consideration on April 27, 2021 where it sought input from…
- Quarantine and Isolation Orders in Puerto Rico’s Executive Orders from March 2020 to April 2021
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and as new information has become available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local governments have continuously revised their isolation and quarantine requirements and recommendations.
- Puerto Rico Issues Guidance For Nursing Rooms In Workplace
The Puerto Rico Women’s Advocate Office has published Guidelines for the Establishment of Nursing Rooms with the purpose of ensuring uniformity and setting forth all aspects employers should consider when establishing a nursing room in the workplace...
- Puerto Rico’s New Guidelines on Workplace Harassment/Bullying Clarify Protocols for Employers
The Puerto Rico Department of Labor recently released guidelines on Law 90-2020, which seeks to prohibit workplace harassment and bullying, whether or not tied to a protected category.
- The Women’s Advocate Office of Puerto Rico Publishes Guidelines on Lactation Room Standards
On February 11, 2021, the Women’s Advocate Office (WAO) published Guidelines on the Acclimatization of Lactation Rooms (Guidelines), which apply to both public- and private-sector employers.
- Puerto Rico Government Plan-to-Private Plan Rollovers Allowed
On January 20, 2021, the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (Departamento de Hacienda, commonly known as “Hacienda”) issued Administrative Determination No. 21-01 (AD 21-01), which provides that lump-sum distributions from the retirement plan for Puerto Rico government employees are eligible for direct and indirect rollovers into Puerto Rico–qualified retirement plans maintained by private-sector employers. In practice, however, this determination is unlikely to have much of an impact on the operation of private-sector employer plans.
- Dealing With Missing Participants in Terminating Puerto Rico 401(k) Plans
For a host of legal and practical reasons, the only feasible alternative for disposing of the accounts of missing participants in a terminating 401(k) or other defined contribution retirement plan qualified only in Puerto Rico (commonly known as a “P.R.-only plan”) is, after making reasonable efforts to locate the missing participants, depositing with the proper state unclaimed property fund(s) the retirement money of those participants who cannot be located. Sending the money to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), completing direct rollovers into individual retirement accounts or annuities (IRA), and opening bank accounts for the missing participants generally are not viable options.
- Do Not Take a Shot in the Dark: Important Considerations for Puerto Rico Employers Eyeing Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Programs
Multiple states and jurisdictions are reporting a deadly winter spike of COVID-19 infections. An excess of 220,000 cases of COVID-19 were reported in early December, a dramatic increase from the 44,783 reported in October. Nevertheless, a glint of hope flashes within the gloom of the COVID-19 pandemic: Operation Warp Speed, a partnership program between the public and private sectors to develop, produce, and mass distribute a COVID vaccine.
- Puerto Rico: A Testing Dilemma in Returning to Work Scenarios and the Governor’s Most Recent Executive Order
In conclusion, employers have multiple CDC-approved approaches to choose from when determining their return-to-work protocols. Employers opting for the test-based strategy are protected under the ADA so long as it is carried out according to current CDC guidelines. A case-by-case analysis should therefore be performed taking into consideration the particularities of each workplace and the circumstances surrounding the employee.
- IRS Extends and Expands Relief, Seeks Comments on Puerto Rico Plans and Group Trusts
IRS Notice 2012-6, to be published on January 17, 2012, extends and expands the transition relief provided under Rev. Rul. 2011-1 and Rev. Rul. 2008-40 for certain retirement plans that qualify under the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code and group trusts holding investments by such Puerto Rico-quali...
- Benefit Issues in Puerto Rico: Impact of the ACA, ERISA and the PBGC
This article highlights some recent developments that employers with Puerto Rico employee benefits arrangements should consider concerning compliance with U.S. federal laws on health care reform and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), fiduciary duties under the Employee...
- Proposed $6.8M Fine Related to Puerto Rico Breach Incident
Triple-S Salud, Inc. (“Triple-S”), a Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration (“PRHIA”) contractor, filed a Form 8-K indicating that the PRHIA intended to impose a civil monetary penalty of $6,768,000 and other administrative sanctions stemming from a breach incident affecting 13,336 Dual...
- PBGC Coverage May No Longer Apply to Puerto Rico-Only Qualified Retirement Plans
Employers that sponsor defined benefit qualified retirement plans benefiting only Puerto Rico employees should be aware that Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) coverage may no longer apply. Last year, the PBGC withdrew old prior opinion letters (Opinion Letters 77-172 and 85-19) regarding ...
- Medicare Telehealth Services in Puerto Rico
As U.S. health care providers continue to use telehealth, telemedicine, and virtual care services to expand their services and geographic footprint overseas, they are beginning to ask whether or not Medicare will cover telehealth services provided to Puerto Rico. Not only is Puerto Rico classified...
- Three Strikes and Recovery Act is Out
Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Commonwealth of Puerto Rico v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust puts an end to one of Puerto Rico’s multi-pronged efforts to deleverage itself. Given the comprehensiveness of the First Circuit’s intermediate appellate opinion upholding the district court’s...
- Open for Business: Puerto Rico Enacts Sweeping Labor Reform
Employer-friendly revisions to attract new businesses and facilitate operations for existing enterprises signals a new era of labor flexibility in Puerto Rico. On January 26, 2017, weeks after being sworn in as the 12th governor of Puerto Rico on January 2, Ricardo Rosselló...
- Maria – Re-Post of Puerto Rico Claims Checklist
With the Imminent Arrival of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, we are re-posting our claims checklist for Puerto Rico - Insurers Should Keep in Mind the Following Claim Handling Requirements from the Puerto Rico Insurance Code......
- Puerto Rico Secretary of Labor Issues Opinion Regarding Allowed Payroll Deductions Following Hurricanes Irma and María
On November 10, 2017, Puerto Rico's Secretary of the Department of Labor and Human Resources (“Secretary”) issued Opinion No. 2017-002 (“Opinion”) addressing allowable deductions from non-exempt employees’ pay following hurricanes Irma and María. Many employers have been helping their employees by...
- Puerto Rico Supreme Court Sets Standard to Apply the Successor Liability Doctrine
The Puerto Rico Supreme Court (“PRSC”) recently issued an Opinion in the case of Roldán Flores v. M. Cuebas, 2018 TSPR 18, 199 D.P.R. __ (Feb. 6, 2018), in which it addressed again the requirements for applying the “successor liability doctrine.” ...