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Legal Update Article

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.

Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney with any questions about this or other workplace issues.

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