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Volume XIII, Number 152


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May 30, 2023

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Puerto Rico House Seeks Injunction on Court Decision Striking Down 2022 Labor Reform

The struggle to provide certainty on employment issues to the private sector in Puerto Rico is not over. The Speaker of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives is seeking an injunction to stay the district court decision declaring null and void the controversial 2022 labor reform, Act 41-2022.

Signed in June 2022, Act 41-2022 introduced changes to the statutory probationary period, vacation and sick leave accrual, and the way the annual Christmas Bonus is accumulated, among other requirements.

The federal court overseeing the Puerto Rico bankruptcy-like procedures had ruled that Act 41-2022 was null and void ab initioFinancial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico v. Pierluisi Urrutia, No. 17 BK 3283-LTS (D. P.R. March 3, 2023). (For details on the decision and its consequences in the private employment sector, see our article, Federal Court Strikes Down Amendments to Puerto Rico 2017 Employment Law Reform.)

Speaker Rafael Hernández-Montañez filed a motion on March 16, 2023, requesting an injunction to stay the federal court’s decision pending appeal. If the motion is granted, Act 41-2022 would return as good law and become enforceable, once more leaving employers with a case of legal whiplash. Parties must respond to the speaker’s motion by March 24. The speaker’s request for injunction was filed just after Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi-Urrutia filed a notice of appeal of the March 3 court decision.

In addition, members of the speaker’s party have presented a bill in the Puerto Rico House of Representatives that would essentially revive the reform enacted under Act 41-2022.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2023National Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 80

About this Author

Sara Colón-Acevedo, Jackson Lewis, wage hour lawyer, employment discrimination attorney, puerto rico courts legal counsel, administrative forum law

Sara E. Colón-Acevedo is a Shareholder in the San Juan, Puerto Rico, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice concentrates in employment discrimination and wage and hour law counseling and litigation on behalf of employers in Puerto Rico local and federal courts.

Ms. Colón-Acevedo has extensive trial experience before both federal and local courts and administrative forums in Puerto Rico. She also has experienced defending employers facing collective wage and hour class actions.

In her...

José L. Maymí González Attorney Jackson Lewis Puerto Rico

José L. Maymí-González is an associate in the San Juan, Puerto Rico, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counseling.

José advises clients on such matters as employment contract and policy drafting, administration of statutory leaves, and termination litigation. He represents clients in federal, state, and administrative forums, including the EEOC and its local counterpart. With a solid understanding of the issues, José strives...