News & Publications

New Guidelines Regarding Payment of Christmas Bonus

October 30, 2017

On September 18, 2017, the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources (the "PR DOL") enacted a Regulation regarding the Puerto Rico's Christmas Bonus Act, Act No. 148 of 1969. Such Regulation supersedes all prior regulations on the subject and establishes guidelines on implementation of the Christmas Bonus Law as amended by the Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act, Act No. 4 of 2017 (the "LTFA").

New Guidelines Regarding Payment of Christmas Bonus

EQB conditionally waives certain power generator and solid waste management requirements

October 19, 2017

The devastation caused by Hurricane María has left most of the island without the necessary power to continue business operations. As a result, businesses have and continue to rely upon power generators to meet their operational energy demands until the Commonwealth's power grid is restored. Power generators are considered air emission sources that may be subject to permitting, operational, recordkeeping and reporting standards under applicable federal and local regulations. In view of these requirements, the P.R. Environmental Quality Board (EQB) issued Resolution R-17-22 on September 18, 2017 to establish the EQB's policy regarding power generators, noise pollution control and solid wastes while the recovery efforts continue and the power service remains unavailable.

EQB conditionally waives certain power generator and solid waste management requirements

EPA Waives the CAA's Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Requirements for Emergency Generators and Pumps until October 30, 2017

October 19, 2017

On September 26, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) waived certain requirements of the Clean Air Act to allow the sale, distribution, and use in Puerto Rico of high sulfur heating oil and marine fuel designated for use in Emission Control Areas (ECA marine fuel) for emergency generators and pumps, in view of the damages caused by Hurricane Maria and the limitations to obtain Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) meeting the 15 parts per million (ppm) standard set forth at 40 C.F.R. § 80.51 O(c)(l). This waiver continued through October 15, 2017.

EPA-Waives-the-CAAs-Ultra-Low-Sulfur-Diesel-Requirements-for-Emergency-Generators-and-Pumps-until-October-30-2017.shtml

Employees Compensation Following a Natural Disaster

October 19, 2017

On October 17, 2017 the Puerto Rico Secretary of Labor and Human Resources ("Secretary") issued Opinion No. 2017-001 ("Opinion") regarding the compensation of exempt and non-exempt private sector employees for workdays interrupted caused by Hurricanes Irma and María.

Employees Compensation Following a Natural Disaster

Suspension of Tax Lien Withholdings Performed by Employers

October 17, 2017

Given the passage of Hurricane María over Puerto Rico and the dire situation faced by taxpayers, the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury ("Treasury") has issued Informative Bulletin 17-24 ("IF 17-24") on October 15, 2017, ordering all employers to suspend any tax lien proceedings or enforcements over employee salaries in favor of the Treasury for a term of ninety (90) days. This suspension shall be extendable to any amounts that are considered a lien in favor of the Secretary of the Treasury, or any other withholding on salaries established as part of a payment plan with the Treasury.

Suspension of Tax Lien Withholdings Performed by Employers

Tax Benefits of Emergency Payments and Loans to Employees

October 6, 2017

On October 4, 2017 the Department of the Treasury issued Administrative Determination No. 17-21 ("AD 17-21") establishing a temporary tax exemption on payments made by an employer to its employees to help repair or compensate for damages and losses suffered as a consequence of Hurricane Maria.

Tax Benefits of Emergency Payments and Loans to Employees

Client Alert - DDEC Incentives Act for the Retention and Return of Medical Professionals

August 24, 2017

On February 21, 2017 the Puerto Rico Legislature approved Act 14, 2017, the Incentives Act for the Retention and Return of Medical Professionals ("Act No. 14-2017" or "Act"). The purpose of the Act is to retain and attract medical professionals to the island by providing them with a fixed income tax rate of 4%. Recently, the Department of Health issued Circular Letter No. 1-2017 (1) and the Department of Economic Development and Commerce approved the Regulation under Act 14-2017 which provides guidance on the process and documentation required to obtain a Tax Exemption Grant under such Act.

Client Alert - DDEC Incentives Act for the Retention and Return of Medical Professionals

Client Alert - New Sales an Use Tax Amendments establishing Semimonthly Payments for Certain Taxpayers

August 7, 2017

The Puerto Rico Treasury Department (the "Department") has issued Administrative Determination Number 17-07 ("AD 17-07") to provide guidance to merchants following recent amendments to Sections 4042.03 and 4042.04 of the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code of 2011 (the "Code").

Client Alert - New Sales an Use Tax Amendments establishing Semimonthly Payments for Certain Taxpayers

Client Alert - Municipality of Caguas Imposes New Municipal Tax

July 2017

The Municipality of Caguas ("Caguas") has approved Municipal Ordinance No. 37 ("Ordinance") to establish a temporary Municipal Business Contribution ("Aportación Empresarial Municipal" or "AEM" for its Spanish acronym) of zero point thirty-five percent (.35%) of its Volume of Business to businesses and individuals that are subject to the Municipal License Tax ("Patente Municipal" for its Spanish name) or have the obligation to declare a Volume of Business in Caguas of Three Million Dollars ($3,000,000) or more for the calendar year previous to the effectiveness of the AEM.

Client Alert - Municipality of Caguas Imposes New Municipal Tax

The Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority has announced a number of projects or proposed projects that may be of interest to some of you.

May 2017

The Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority has announced a number of projects or proposed projects that may be of interest to some of you. Following is a list of some of them.

Employment Law Alliance

Employer Must Provide Religious Accommodations

May 2017

The Department of Labor and Human Resources of Puerto Rico, in accordance with Section 2.19 of Act No. 4-2017, known as the Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act ("LTFA"), has enacted the Regulation to Implement Religious Accommodation in the Workplace (the "Regulation"). This Regulation, as its name implies, establishes guidelines and procedures regarding religious accommodation in the workplace.

Section 2.19 of the LTFA requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of employees or potential employees, unless doing so would create an excessive and undue hardship. As per the Regulation, the employer bears the burden of proving that a specific accommodation would result in greater costs, impair workplace safety, negatively impact the employee's responsibilities, or that any other alternate accommodation would be unreasonable under the circumstances. In addition, an employer may not simply refuse religious accommodation based on the presumption that other employees with the same religious beliefs and/or practices would request similar accommodation.

Employees seeking religious accommodation must do so in writing and with reasonable anticipation. The written request must include: 1) a description of the religious practice; 2) frequency; and 3) the requested accommodation. The employer must provide a definitive response within seven (7) days upon receiving the request, unless the employee's religious practice requires a shorter term. Failure by the employer to provide an answer within said term will be considered as granting the requested accommodation.

Employment Law Alliance


Disclose Now or Forever Lose Your Tax Credits: Government of Puerto Rico Issues New Electronic Disclosure Requirements for Certain Tax Credit Holders

April 2017

On March 7, 2017 the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority ("FAFAA") issued Administrative Order 2017-01 (hereinafter, "AO 2017-01"), which limited the authority of the Government of Puerto Rico to issue new tax credits and ordered the Secretary of the Puerto Rico Treasury Department (hereinafter, "Secretary" and "Treasury", respectively) to prepare an inventory of outstanding tax credits that had been granted by Treasury. Pursuant to AO 2017-01, these tax credits must be disclosed by their holders as a condition to claim (or sell) the credits. As required by the FAFAA in AO 2017-01, Treasury published Internal Revenue Circular Letter 17-07 ("CL 17-07") on April 12, 2017 which explains the procedure to electronically report the ownership of certain tax credits.

Please note that failure to electronically file Form 480.71 by May 15, 2017 will deprive any Holder (as defined below) of their right to claim or sell a Granted Credit in their income tax return for taxable year 2016 and subsequent taxable years.

Below we have included a brief summary of CL 17-07, including a list of the laws that authorize the issuance of tax credits that are now under FAFAA's review and need to be timely disclosed.

Disclose Now or Forever Lose Your Tax Credits: Government of Puerto Rico Issues New Electronic Disclosure Requirements for Certain Tax Credit Holders


Fiscal Plan for Puerto Rico

March 2017

The Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority ("AAFAF"), the Government of Puerto Rico (the "Government"), and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, attorneys, advisors, members, partners or affiliates (collectively, with AAFAF and the Government instrumentalities the "Parties") make no representation or warranty, express or implied, to any third party with respect to the information contained herein and all Parties expressly disclaim any such representations or warranties. The Government has had to rely upon preliminary information and unaudited financials for 2015 and 2016, in addition to the inherent complexities that are part of a government in transition, especially after a prolonged period of public finance obscurity. As such, AAFAF and the Government have made certain assumptions that may materially change once more clarity and transparency takes hold, especially after the Government issues the past due audited financials for 2015 and 2016 later this year.

The Parties do not owe or accept any duty or responsibility to any reader or recipient of this presentation, whether in contract or tort, and shall not be liable for or in respect of any loss, damage (including without limitation consequential damages or lost profits) or expense of whatsoever nature of such third party that may be caused by, or alleged to be caused by, the use of this presentation or that is otherwise consequent upon the gaining of access to this document by such third party.

This document does not constitute an audit conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, an examination of internal controls or other attestation or review services in accordance with standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants or any other organization. Accordingly, the Parties do not express an opinion or any other form of assurance on the financial statements or any financial or other information or the internal controls of the Government and the information contained herein.

Fiscal Plan for Puerto rico

Equal Pay Act of Puerto Rico, Law No. 16-2017

March 2017

On March 8, 2017 Governor Ricardo Rosselló-Nevares signed into law the Equal Pay Act of Puerto Rico, Law No. 16-2017 to eradicate salary inequality between men and women who perform comparable job functions in the workplace. It prohibits discrimination based on sex against employees who perform work with equal functions that requires the same skill, effort, and responsibilities under similar working conditions, unless such differences are due to: i) a bona fide seniority or merit system; ii) a compensation system based on production volume or quality sales or profit; iii) education, training, or experience reasonably related to a job in particular; and iv) any other reasonable factor other than the person's sex.

Non-complying employers face a wide range of obligations and penalties. For example, the employer may not equalize the salaries by reducing the compensation of other employees. Also, the employer cannot impose as a condition of employment or job retention that the candidate or employee refrains from disclosing his or her salary or from requesting information about other employees' salaries.

This law also establishes that any employer who incurs in wage discrimination will pay the discriminated employee any unpaid salary gap and an equal amount as penalty, plus expenses and attorney fees.

An employer can avoid financial liability if one year before a claim is presented, an evaluation of its compensation practices is made in order to start a bona fide process to eliminate gender based wage inequality.

The statute also has a retaliation prohibition to protect employees that: (i) claim discrimination against the employer; (ii) reveal their salaries; or (iii) offer testimony against the employer as part of an investigation for violations under the Equal Pay Act. An employer who incurs in retaliation practices against an employee will be liable for double the damages awarded to the employee.

The Equal Pay Act has a statute of limitations of one year, beginning on the date the employee knew of the employer's violations with its provisions.

Lastly, although the law was signed on March 8, 2017 and effective immediately, employer's liability is deferred one year, in order to allow them to implement the necessary corrective measures to be in compliance with the Law.

Equal Pay Act of Puerto Rico

Government's New Minimum Wage

March 2017

On March 2, 2017, Governor Rosselló-Nevares signed Executive Order 2017-026 increasing the minimum wage to employees in the central government from $7.25 to $8.25 per hour. This increase is to be implemented at the beginning of the next fiscal year on July 1, 2017.

In addition, the Executive Order provides that government contractors in the construction industry must certify that their employees are paid in compliance with the minimum wage. That is, as of July 1, 2017, government contractors will have to certify that their employees earn no less than $8.25 per hour.

The Executive Order also states that the administration's goal is to progressively increase the minimum wage to employees in the central government until it reaches a pay rate of $10.00 per hour, requiring all government contractors in the construction industry to do the same.

In addition to Executive Order 2017-026, Governor Rosselló-Nevares stated that he intends to issue another Executive Order establishing a Committee that will be in charge of raising Puerto Rico's Minimum Wage.
We at Goldman remain committed in assisting you and your business to adjust to these forthcoming changes in the Law. For further information, or detailed legal advice you may contact any of the attorneys in the Labor Department.

Government's New Minimum Wage

Government Enacts New Tax Incentives to Retain Physicians in Puerto Rico

Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act

Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act

Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act

Service Charge? For what?

Service Charge? For what?

Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act

Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act

To all our Clients and Friends

To all our Clients and Friends

Compliance with the Plastic Bags Ban Involves More Than Not Using Plastic Bags

 Compliance with the Plastic Bags Ban Involves More Than Not Using Plastic Bags

Is my distribution agreement merely exclusive or "airtight" exclusive?

Is my distribution agreement merely exclusive or

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Time to put your corporation up to date in its annual report filings

Time to put your corporation up to date in its annual report filings

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Two Methods Of Payment Now Required For All Commercial Establishments

Two methods of payment now required for all commercial establishments

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Employers Can Now Better Prevent Stalking in the Workplace

Employers Can Now Better Prevent Stalking in the Workplace

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Collaborative Agreement between Treasury Department and the Municipalities

Collaborative Agreement between Treasury Department and the Municipalities

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Employees are not Entitled to Receive Payment of Accrued Sick Leave

Employees are not Entitled to Receive Payment of Accrued Sick Leave

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Fraud as defined by the US Bankruptcy Code

Fraud as defined by the US Bankruptcy Code

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Solicitor of Labor and Human Resources Dept. of Puerto Rico Issues a Disturbing Opinion Regarding the Accrual and Payment of Sick Leave to Non-Exempt Employees

Solicitor of Labor and Human Resources Dept. of Puerto Rico Issues a Disturbing Opinion Regarding the Accrual and Payment of Sick Leave to Non-Exempt Employees

Please click below to read our Client Alert: U.S. Department of Labor Issues Final Overtime Rules

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Final Overtime Rules

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Overtime Regulations are still on track for July 2016

Overtime Regulations are still on track for July 2016

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Equally Divided Supreme Court in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Ass'n.

Equally Divided Supreme Court in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Ass'n.

Please click below to read our Client Alert: U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources Issues Discussion Draft of " Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act" (PROMESA)

U.S. House Committee

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Tax Alert

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Basic Information on Governmental Bid Processes

Basic Information

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Please click below to read our Client Alert: New Case Law: Appropriate Location for Breastfeeding

new case

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client alert-january11

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client alert

Please click below to read our Client Alert: ILN Firm of the Month - Goldman Antonetti & Cordova, LLC - San Juan, Puerto Rico!

ILN Finn of the Month - Goldman Antonetti & Cordova, LLC - San Juan, Puerto Rico!

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Energy Update Request for Expressions of Interest to Modernize and Transform The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority's Generation System

Energy Update Request for Expressions of Interest to Modernize and Transform The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authoritys Generation System

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Puerto Rico Energy Commission Regulatory Update

Puerto Rico Energy Commission Regulatory Update

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Department of Labor's Wage & Hour Division announced changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act

 Department of Labors Wage & Hour Division announced changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Bathroom Access for Transgender Employees

Bathroom Access for Transgender Employees

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Genetic Nondiscrimination: Updated FMLA Forms

Genetic Nondiscrimination Updated FMLA Forms

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She wore a headscarf ! !! A story of failure to accomodate

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Puerto Rico Energy Commission Net Metering Update

Puerto Rico Energy Commission Net Metering Update

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Amendment to Act No. 115: Anti-Retaliation in Employment Covers Internal Complaints, Claims and Grievances

Amendment to Act No 115 Anti-Retaliation in Employment Covers Internal Complaints Claims and Grievances

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Puerto Rico’s Tax Advantages Offer Additional Incentives for EB-5 Foreign Investors

Puerto Rico

Please click below to read our Client Alert: Action Required in Bill 501 to Prohibit and Prevent Workplace Harassment in Puerto Rico

Bill 501

Please click below to read more information about, "El Arbitraje como Alternativa a la Litigación Judicial"

El arbitraje

Please click below to read our Client Alert: President Obama Issues Executive Order Establishing Minimum Wage for Federal Government Contractors

Executive order

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General C

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OFCCP Issues Final Affirmative Action Rules

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Compliance Date for new OFCCP

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Employer's obligation

Reconocimiento 100 Empresas

Reconocimiento 100 Empresas

Affirmative Action and OFCCP Regulations and Audits

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Gender Identity Discrimination

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New Tax Amnesty Law Approved in Puerto Rico

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Tax Alert - Administrative Determination No. 12-08

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 Corporations: Take advantage of this grace period

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New Tax Amnesty Law

Please click on the icon below to view our Client Alert- NLRB Issues Guidelines to Employers (Social Media)

NLRB Issues Guidelines to Employers (Social Media)

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NL 79 Clarification

Please click on the icon below to view GAC Newsletter #79.

GAC Newsletter #79

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NLRB Postpones Notice-Posting Requirements

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New List of Categorical Exclusions

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Notice - Posting Requirements by NLRB

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Reference Guide for Green Energy

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ASUME

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Energy Emergency

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Client Alert - Did I quit my job or was I forced to resign

Please click the icon below to view GAC Newsletter #78*

GAC Newsletter 78

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Important Changes to the Annual Report Filing Process

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OFCCP Proposes Withdrawal of Voluntary Self-Evaluations

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Special Exemption from Income Tax Withholding on Salaries Paid

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Spring Newsletter 2010

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Client Alert 3-10-10

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