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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.
- Case Study: A Landmark in the History of U.S. Public-Private Partnerships
“The $2.6 billion deal to lease San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport to a private consortium is being watched by bankers and industry officials keen to import a business model that is widely used in Europe and Asia. —The Wall Street...
- Latin America & the Caribbean Practice Update
Puerto Rico Recent Developments - The three major credit rating agencies, Standard & Poor's, Moody's, and Fitch Ratings, downgraded the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico's debt to "junk" status during the first two weeks of February, citing weaknesses in the island's economy, including lackluster...
- Summary Of Puerto Rico Public Corporation Debt Enforcement & Recovery Act
On June 28, 2014, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico adopted the Puerto Rico Corporations Debt Enforcement & Recovery Act, Act 71-2014 (the “Debt Enforcement Act”), enabling certain Commonwealth public corporations in financial distress to restructure their debt obligations. The Debt Enforcement Act...
- Puerto Rico’s Recovery Act Ruled Preempted: What Now?
At the end of “The Candidate”, Robert Redford’s title character, having won, famously asks, “What do we do now?” A similar question can be asked now that the federal district court in Puerto Rico has struck down the Puerto Rico Public Corporation Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act. In...
- Inbound and Outbound U.S. Tax Planning for Bona Fide Residents of Puerto Rico
Since Puerto Rico enacted the “Individual Investors Act” (Act 22) and the “Export Services Act” (Act 20) in 2012, much press has been devoted to the number of high-net worth U.S. taxpayers (including citizens and green card holders) who have relocated to Puerto Rico and become “bona fide residents” ...
- Puerto Rico Employers Cannot Withhold Income Taxes for Christmas Bonuses of $600 or Less
Pursuant to the current income tax withholding rules issued by the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury, there are specific income tax withholding rules applicable when a Christmas bonus is paid, which differ from those applicable to regular wages....
- Sanctions Granted against Defendant for Loss of ESI on Laptop and Hard Drive, Denied for iPhone: eDiscovery Case Law
In TLS Management and Marketing Services, LLC v. Rodriguez-Toledo, et. al., No. 15-2121 (D. P.R., Mar. 27, 2017), Puerto Rico Magistrate Judge Bruce J. McGiverin partially granted and partially denied the plaintiff’s motion for spoliation sanctions against the defendants, ordering an adverse-inferen...
- Employers Helping Employees - Are Disaster Relief Payments and Loans Exempt From Puerto Rico Income Tax?
With the havoc wrought by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, employers are exploring options to provide emergency relief to those employees who have encountered financial hardship to meet their necessities and repair their homes in the wake of the disaster. Occasionally, aid from employers to...
- New Act Prohibits Employers in Puerto Rico from Using Absences to Measure Employee Efficiency and Performance
On Saturday, January 27, 2018, the Governor of Puerto Rico signed into law Act No. 60, establishing greater protections for non-exempt private sector employees by prohibiting employers from using sick leave to measure employees’ efficiency in their annual performance evaluations....
- Puerto Rico: New Act Extends the List of Authorized Deductions to Non-Exempt Employees' Wages
The Governor of Puerto Rico recently signed into law Act No. 115, extending the list of authorized payroll deductions under Act 17-1931 (“Act 17”). As a general rule, deductions from non-exempt employees’ wages in Puerto Rico are prohibited unless specifically authorized by Article 5 of Act 17....