July 13, 2020

Volume X, Number 195

July 13, 2020

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July 10, 2020

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Puerto Rico Senate Considers Unpaid Emergency Leave for Pandemic Illness

Following the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the World Health Organization’s declaration of a pandemic, on March 12, 2020, the Puerto Rico House of Representatives approved House Bill 2428 to establish a new unpaid emergency leave of 20 days for employees with a suspected or actual diagnosis of a pandemic illness.

HB 2428 seeks to amend Puerto Rico Law 180-1998, which establishes paid sick and vacation leave benefits to some private sector employees, excluding employees classified as executives, administrators, and professionals, among others.

If HB 2428 is enacted, employees who are sick or suspected of being sick as a result of a pandemic illness during a state of emergency declared by the Governor of Puerto Rico, or the Secretary of the Department of Health, must first use any accrued sick leave. Once accrued sick leave is exhausted, employees may use accrued vacation leave to receive pay during any absence. Should the employee need additional leave, HB 2428 provides an unpaid emergency leave of 20 working days. Under the bill, employers may allow employees to use the unpaid emergency leave before using accrued vacation leave.

HB 2428 is before the Puerto Rico Senate for consideration. 

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume X, Number 73

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About this Author

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

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...

787-522-7310
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 employment lawsuits and administrative matters, ranging from individual charges and cases to broad-scale collective and class actions regarding wage and hour disputes, employment discrimination and harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, statutory leaves of absence, welfare benefits (ERISA), Railway Labor Act, defamation, non-compete covenants and other employment-related torts.

787-522-7315
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...

787-522-7314