Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 15, 2018
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.”1 The PRSC held that prior to applying the successor liability doctrine, courts must first determine whether the prior owner/employer had any legal obligations or committed an illegal act with respect to the plaintiff-employee. If there was no employment obligation or illegal act attributable to the prior owner/employer, then there is no need to examine or apply the successor liability doctrine. In the context of unjust dismissal claims, the effect of the PRSC’s holding is that when there is a complete closing of operations, which is considered just cause for termination under Act No. 80 of May 30, 1976 (“Act 80”),2 there is no need to examine the applicability of the successor liability doctrine as there is no illegal act for which the acquiring entity could be held liable.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • February 11, 2018
The Governor of Puerto Rico recently signed into law Act No. 28 (“Act 28”), entitling all employees, including temporary employees, to take up to six days of paid leave per year if they suffer from a “catastrophic illness.” This bill, as presented to the Governor, defines catastrophic illnesses as those listed in the Health Insurance Administration of Puerto Rico Special Coverage (HIAPRSC), which currently includes: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS); Tuberculosis; Leprosy; Lupus; Cystic Fibrosis; Cancer; Hemophilia; Aplastic Anemia; Rheumatoid Arthritis; Autism; Post Organ Transplant; Scleroderma; Multiple Sclerosis; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); and Chronic Kidney Disease in levels 3, 4 and 5. To be entitled to this leave, employees must have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, and have worked an average of 130 hours per month during the previous 12-month period.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 11, 2018
Just one year after substantial changes to Puerto Rico employment laws became effective, the Governor has enacted two new sick leave laws. One shields employees from adverse consequences from sick leave use. The other creates a special leave for catastrophic illnesses.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 31, 2018
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. This bill as presented to the Governor amends Article 6 of Act No. 180–1998, better known as the “Puerto Rico Minimum Wage, Vacation, and Sick Leave Act,” to include this protection.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 21, 2018
Hurricane Aftermath: Available Government Assistance for Puerto Rico Residents
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 17, 2018
Recent changes to Puerto Rico’s tax treatment of certain retirement plans have taken effect. Act No. 106 of August 23, 2017 (“Act 106”) amended Section 1081.01 of the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code as amended, (the “PR Code”), to reflect changes in the rules governing Puerto Rico qualified retirement plans. Employee benefit practitioners, service providers, as well as the Pension Plan Section at the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (the “PR Treasury”) were taken by surprise by these amendments, as they revised legislation designed to guarantee payment to government retirees and to establish a new defined contribution plan for government employees.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 17, 2018
On December 15, 2017, the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (the “PR Treasury”) issued Tax Policy Circular Letter No. 17-02 (“CL 7-02”) announcing the 2018 applicable contribution limits for qualified retirement plans. Pursuant to Section 1081.01(h) of the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code of 2011, as amended (the “PR Code”), the Secretary of the Treasury is required, before the beginning of each taxable year, to provide notice of the applicable limits under the U.S. Code, which are incorporated by reference into the PR Code limits (e.g., annual compensation, annual benefit/contribution limits).
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • December 17, 2017
As previously discussed, on October 4, 2017, the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (the “PR Treasury”) issued Administrative Determination No. 17-21 (“AD 17-21”) granting temporary income tax exemption for payments considered “Qualified Payments made for Disaster Assistance” related to the recent hurricane. To clarify various aspects of AD 17-21, the PR Treasury issued a series of questions and answers (Q&As). The following is a summary of the clarification provided in the Q&As.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • December 13, 2017
On December 6, 2017, the Puerto Rico Secretary of the Department of Labor and Human Resources (“Secretary”) published the proposed Regulation to Administer Act No. 379 of May 15, 1948, as amended, known as Puerto Rico’s Working Hours and Days Act. On the same day, the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources (“Department”) published a Public Notice informing employers, employees, and the general public of its intent to adopt the Regulation and inviting any person to submit written comments on or before Friday, January 5, 2018. Comments can be mailed, submitted via email, or physically presented to the Office of the Solicitor of Labor.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 20, 2017
On November 15, 2017, the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (the "PR Treasury") issued Administrative Determination Number 17-29 ("AD 17-29") to provide special rules and procedures applicable to distributions from qualified retirement plans and individual retirement accounts ("IRAs") following Hurricane María.