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- Puerto Rico Treasury Department Extends Tax Exemptions for COVID-19 Employer-Provided Payments and Amends Rules for Qualified Retirement Plan and IRA Distributions
Pursuant to the State of Emergency declared by Puerto Rico Governor Hon. Wanda Vázquez-Garced on March 12, 2020 in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Executive Order 2020-023 she issued shortly thereafter, most businesses in Puerto Rico have been closed since 6:00 p.m. on March 14, 2020, and unless the restrictions are again extended, will remain closed until April 12, 2020.
- Puerto Rico Secretary Of Labor Announces New Unemployment Benefits Available For Private Employees
In the wake of the Coronavirus/COVID-19, the Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Labor (Secretary) announced today the availability of additional unemployment benefits in Puerto Rico for eligible employees, as well as self-employed workers and independent contractors, due to the enactment of the federal statute known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES)...
- U.S. DOL Issues Additional Questions and Answers on the FFCRA which Directly Impact Puerto Rico Employers
On March 26, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued additional questions and answers (Q&As) that further explain employer and employee rights and responsibilities under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
- Federal COVID-19 Emergency Paid Leave Rules Apply in Puerto Rico - But With Unique Tax Aspects
Employers with Puerto Rico operations should be aware that, with some minor income tax-related twists, the emergency paid leave provisions of the recently enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) equally apply in Puerto Rico. Generally, the FFCRA requires private employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid leave, as follows...
- Puerto Rico Secretary Of Labor Issues New Opinion On Provisions Applicable To Exempt, Non-Exempt Employees
The Puerto Rico Secretary of Labor and Human Resources, Hon. Briseida Torres-Reyes, has issued Opinion No. 2020-02 on the applicable legal provisions related to exempt and non-exempt employees of the private sector as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency...
- The Families First Coronavirus Response Act and its Interplay with Puerto Rico’s Local Provisions Regarding Vacation and Sick Leave
On March 18, 2020, the president signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Among other things, the new law provides for paid sick leave and expanded FMLA provisions. The FFCRA takes effect on April 2, 2020, and sunsets on December 31, 2020.
- Puerto Rico Transportation Bureau Issues Additional Guidance on COVID-Related Shutdown and Curfew
On March 17, 2020, Luis D. García Fraga, Chief Commissioner of Puerto Rico’s Transportation and Other Public Services Bureau, issued guidance on Executive Order EO-2020-23 (EO) and the operations allowed during the lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 emergency crisis.
- Puerto Rico Department of Labor Issues New Opinion Regarding Employee Compensation and Available Leaves During the COVID-19 Emergency
On March 23, 2020, the Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources issued Opinion No. 2020-02 (Opinion 2020-02) discussing provisions applicable to both exempt and non-exempt private-sector employees impacted by the COVID-19-related lockdown imposed by Executive Order No. 2020-023.
- Puerto Rico Government Extends Several Deadlines in Light of COVID-19 Emergency
In light of the State of Emergency declared by Puerto Rico Governor Hon. Wanda Vázquez-Garced, and the closing of most government agencies as a result of Executive Order 2020-023, several employment-related agencies have extended upcoming deadlines.
- Puerto Rico Clarifies Applicability To Private Sector Employers Of Mandatory Lockdown
The Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce has issued a clarification on the mandatory lockdown of non-essential commerce in response to employer appeals. On the night of March 17, the Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, Hon. Manuel A. J. Laboy-Rivera, issued Circular Letter No. 2020-02, “Applicability of the Close of Operations in the Private Sector Pursuant to Executive Order No. EO-2020023,”...
- Puerto Rico Retirement Plans: Issues Employers Should Think About in 2012
Puerto Rico and U.S. laws affecting retirement plans have changed extensively in the last few years. Puerto Rico adopted a new tax code in 2011, and both the U.S. and Puerto Rico Treasury Departments issued a number of rulings that have a significant impact on employers that sponsor retirement...
- Hotel Dispute Gets An Extended Stay in Puerto Rico: First Circuit Case Illustrates the Limits of an Incontestable Registration
In the U.S., a senior user of a trademark can block a junior user within the geographic area of prior use, even if the junior user is the party with an incontestable U.S. federal registration. This is perfectly illustrated in a recent First Circuit decision....
- Legislative Trial Balloon for Puerto Rico Public Corporation Insolvency Process Attracts Bondholder Attention
Last Tuesday, Puerto Rico sold its much ballyhooed $3.5 billion in non-investment grade general obligation bonds. Two days later, two legislators in Puerto Rico’s Senate filed a bill which, if enacted, would permit insolvency filings by Puerto Rico’s public corporations in Puerto Rico’s...
- IRS Finalizes Guidance on Rev. Rul. 81-100 Group Trusts, and Insurance Company Separate Accounts
In Rev. Rul. 2014-24, scheduled for publication on September 8, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (the Service) substantially completed its pending guidance on Rev. Rul. 81-100 group trusts by permanently authorizing the participation in group trusts of retirement plans qualified only under Puerto ...
- Legislation Introduced to Extend Earned Income Tax Credit to Commonwealth Residents
Following up on one of the Administration’s legislative proposals to address Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis, on October 22, 2015, Senator Robert Menendez introduced a bill “The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit Equity for Puerto Rico Act of 2015” (S. 2203), to make residents of Puerto Rico ...
- New DOL "White Collar" Overtime Exemptions Rule to be Put on Hold in Puerto Rico Under PROMESA
On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (S. 2328), commonly known as “PROMESA.” This measure, which was enacted with bipartisan support, effectively delays application of the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) new overtime rule to...
- THE LATEST: DOJ Trial Machine is Staffed Up, Fired Up
WHAT HAPPENED: ..The DOJ Antitrust Division scored another trial win — this time in a real estate foreclosure bid rigging case......
- Puerto Rico Employers May Pay Their Outstanding Workers' Compensation Debts Owed to the State Insurance Fund Corporation with a 50% Discount
The Puerto Rican government recently enacted Act 92, which establishes a debt payment incentive plan (the “Plan”) for employers in Puerto Rico that have outstanding debts with the Puerto Rico State Insurance Fund Corporation (“SIFC”). Under Puerto Rican law, workers' compensation can only be...
- Court Affirms Dismissal Of Claim For Commissions For Placement Of Puerto Rican Public Liability Insurance
Plaintiffs Berkley Risk Solutions LLC, an insurance and reinsurance management services provider, and Admiral Insurance Co., an excess and surplus lines insurer, sued Industrial Re-International Inc., a New York reinsurance intermediary, and its founder, concerning certain commissions for public...
- Maria, Where Are The Claims?
In the six months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, much progress has been made. Water service has been restored to 99% of the island and electricity to 93%. Of the total losses in the Caribbean from Maria, about 85% are in Puerto Rico, which the local government estimates at $100...