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If you have any questions in regards to the above, please do not hesitate to contact our offices so that we may explain the amendments to the provisions of the Code in more detail. Our address is:

 

Fiddler González & Rodríguez, P.S.C., P.O. Box 363507, San Juan, PR 00936-3507. Our fax (787) 759-3108.

 

We welcome your questions and comments.


José J. Santiago

787-759-3129

jsantiag@fgrlaw.com

 

Carlos A. Padilla

787-759-3149

cpadilla@fgrlaw.com

 

Antonio L. García

787-759-3221

agarcia@fgrlaw.com

 

Edgardo Barreto

787-759-3170

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PUERTO RICO LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

 

I. PUERTO RICO ACT 169 OF SEPTEMBER 29, 2014 WHICH AMENDS ACT 115 OF 1991, THE PUERTO RICO ANTI-RETALIATION ACT

 

Act 115 prohibits employers from discharging, threatening, or discriminating against an employee should the employee offer or attempt to offer, verbally or in writing, any testimony, expression or information before a legislative, administrative or judicial forum in Puerto Rico, when such expressions are not of a defamatory character nor constitute disclosure of privileged information established by law. The Act also creates a cause of action for any employee claiming a violation.

 

Through Act 169 the Legislature now has amended Act 115 to add protection and a cause of action for employees who offer or try to offer any testimony, statement or information in the employer’s internal procedures or before any company employee or representative in a position of authority, when such expressions are not of a defamatory character nor constitute disclosure of privileged information established by law.

 

Act 169 also includes a more detailed definition of who is a covered employer, making clear that Act 115 applies to all public and private employers, municipal employers, unions and employment agencies.

 

II. PUERTO RICO ACT 160 OF SEPTEMBER 19, 2014, WHICH AMENDS ACT 180 OF 1998, THE MINIMUM WAGE, VACATIONS AND SICK LEAVE ACT

 

Act 160 amends Act 180 to add an additional civil penalty in case of violation of its provisions regarding the use of vacation leave. The Act also authorizes the Department of Labor’s Office of Mediation and Adjudication to impose those penalties.

 

Act 180 provides certain rules for the use of vacation leave including rules requiring an agreement between the employer and the employee to fraction the vacation leave and to accrue up to two years of vacation leave. The Act also requires that the employee make a written request to the employer to allow the partial liquidation of accrued vacation leave in excess of ten (10) days or to allow vacation leave to include non-working days during, prior to or after the vacation period.

 

However, Act 180 did not include any civil penalties for remedies for employees when the employers violated the above rules. To remedy this, the Legislature established a penalty of twice the damages suffered. In those cases where monetary damages cannot be established the penalty would range from $500 to $3,000.

 

 ©2014 Fiddler, González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. This Watch has been prepared by Fiddler, González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information does not create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this without seeking advice from professional advisers. Fiddler, González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. and its members assume no responsibility to inform you of additional changes in law or any other legal issues related to the matters discussed in this e-mail.

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