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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.
- District Court Prohibits Use of Banking Logo
Plaintiffs, Puerto Rico-based financial institutions offering commercial banking services, sought a preliminary injunction prohibiting defendant, a Puerto Rico-based nonprofit banking institution that offered services similar to plaintiffs’, from using its current mark and dress. Plaintiffs...
- Puerto Rico Bans Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Employment
Last week, on May 29, 2013, Puerto Rico’s governor, Alejandro García Padilla, signed S.B. 238 into law enacting Act No. 22, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, both in the public and private sectors....
- Puerto Rico Senate Not in a New York State of Mind
As reported by the Wall Street Journal today and by other sources, the authorizing legislation for Puerto Rico’s much anticipated $3.5 billion non investment grade general obligation issue has become hung up in Puerto Rico’s Senate over language included in the bill passed by the territory’s House...
- Puerto Rico and PREPA Seek Dismissal of Bondholder Challenge to Territory’s Bankruptcy Statute
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) yesterday filed separate motions to dismiss the federal court complaint filed last month by some PREPA bondholders seeking to invalidate the recently-enacted Puerto Rico Public Corporation Debt Enforcement and...
- Reminder: Filing Deadline is Near for Qualification Amendments to Puerto Rico Qualified Retirement Plans
The annual deadline to file plan qualification amendments with the Puerto Rico Treasury (the "Hacienda") for most qualified retirement plans that cover Puerto Rico residents is fast approaching: for plan sponsors filing taxes on a calendar year basis that adopted any such amendments during 2014,...
- Puerto Rico Qualified Retirement Plans: Treasury Eliminates Form 480.70(OE) Filing Requirement for Plan Years Beginning on January 1, 2015, Establishing New Filing Requirements and Deadlines
On March 11, 2016, the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (“PR Treasury”) issued Administrative Determination No. 16-05 (“AD 16-05”), eliminating the requirement to file PR Treasury Form 480.70(OE) for retirement plans whose tax year begins after December 31, 2014. AD 16-05 specifically...
- Puerto Rico Treasury Issues New Guidance on Rules and Procedures for Qualification of Retirement Plans
The Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (the “PR Treasury”) issued Tax Policy Circular Letter No. 16-08 on December 23, 2016 (“CL 16-08”). CL 16-08 establishes new rules regarding the validity of retirement plan qualification letters and the procedures that employers and service providers must...
- Puerto Rico Employers Prepare for New Guidelines Governing Equal Pay in the Workplace
On August 10, 2017, the Puerto Rico Secretary of Labor and Human Resources issued and made effective the Uniform Guidelines for the Self-Assessment of Equal Pay in the Workplace (“the Guidelines”). These Guidelines were enacted pursuant to the mandate of two separate pieces of legislation: (1)...
- Deadline to Make Contributions and File Quarterly Unemployment and Disability Tax Report in Puerto Rico Extended until December 15, 2017
On October 24, 2017, Puerto Rico's Secretary of the Department of Labor and Human Resources issued an Administrative Order granting an automatic extension for all employers required to file a Quarterly Unemployment and Disability Tax Report (“Quarterly Report”)....
- Recovering Administrative Claims in Chapter 9 Bankruptcy and Title III of PROMESA
Municipal bankruptcies under Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. §§ 901-946 (Chapter 9), are rare. These cases are often filed to adjust bonded indebtedness and pension obligations. Congressional authorization for Puerto Rico and its instrumentalities to file for bankruptcy under the Puerto ...