July 13, 2020

Volume X, Number 195

July 13, 2020

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July 10, 2020

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Puerto Rico Senate Approves Reverting to Pre-2017 Employment Law Reform Sick, Vacation Leave

The Puerto Rico Senate has approved a bill (Senate Bill 1524) that would reverse some vacation and sick leave provisions relating to private sector employees adopted under the controversial “Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act,” Law No. 4-2017, known as Puerto Rico Employment Law Reform.

The Employment Law Reform provided that employees subject to the Vacation and Sick Leave Law, Law No. 180-1998, must work at least 130 hours per month to accrue vacation and sick leave benefits. It also established staggered accrual of vacation leave based on years of service, although it grandfathered employees hired before the law’s enactment to the previous, much higher accrual.

Now, Senate Bill 1524 seeks to revert to the law in effect before the enactment of the Employment Law Reform by lowering the accrual threshold from 130 hours per month to 115 hours per month. Senate Bill 1524 also would revert the minimum vacation leave accrual for all eligible employees to 1.25 days per month, for a total of 15 days per year (currently, depending on years of service, an employee can accrue from five to 15 days a year). Sick leave accrual would remain the same, at one day per month.

Senate Bill 1524 is before the Puerto Rico House of Representatives for its consideration.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume X, Number 136


About this Author

Juan Felipe Santos, Employment Attorney, Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Office Managing Principal and Office Litigation Manager

Juan Felipe Santos is the Office Managing Principal and Office Litigation Manager in the San Juan, Puerto Rico, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has successfully represented employers in litigation before federal and Puerto Rico courts, including jury trials. Before joining Jackson Lewis when it opened the Puerto Rico office in 2013, Mr. Santos worked for over 10 years in other major law firms in Puerto Rico, devoting his practice exclusively to labor and employment law.

Mr. Santos represents clients through all phases and types of federal and local labor and...

Maralyssa Álvarez-Sánchez, Jackson lewis, labor employment attorney, reasonable accommodation lawyer
Of Counsel

Maralyssa Álvarez-Sánchez is an Of Counsel in the San Juan, Puerto Rico, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She counsels employers on compliance with state and federal employment laws in executing personnel decisions and defends employers in all stages of litigation in discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, reasonable accommodation, unjust dismissal and leave-related claims in federal and state judicial and administrative forums.

Ms. Álvarez-Sánchez has successfully defended claims against employers before the Puerto Rico Courts of First Instance and Appeals and the Puerto Rico Supreme Court as well as obtained favorable dismissal for employers of federal discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims before the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Tatiana Leal-González labor attorney Jackson lewis

Tatiana Leal-González is an Associate in the San Juan, Puerto Rico, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.  She focuses her practice in substantive and procedural aspects of labor and employment law litigation and has successfully defended claims against employers before federal and local court, and administrative agencies, involving complex allegations of wrongful termination, sexual harassment, retaliation, age and disability discrimination.

Ms. Leal-González frequently provides legal advice and preventive counseling to clients on a variety of employment matters,...