New Sexual Harassment Protocol (Puerto Rico)
By: Angel Berberena, Esq.
Edgardo Rodríguez-LaFontaine, Esq.
October 4, 2022
On September 28, 2022, the Governor of Puerto Rico, Hon. Pedro R. Pierluisi, signed into law Act No. 82-2022 (the “Act”) to amend Act No. 17-1988 (“Law to Prohibit Sexual Harassment in the Workplace”). The Act, which is effective immediately, requires employers to implement a protocol to manage sexual harassment incidents in the workplace.
To comply with the Act, employers may adopt a protocol yet to be provided by the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources or implement their own protocols that must include and be compliant with the following:
- Clear statement that sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal.
- Legal provisions on which the protocol is based.
- Declaration of purpose.
- The designation of someone to handle sexual harassment incidents or allegations, including specific duties and contact information.
- Procedure to report complaints which must include verbal, written, or anonymous options.
- Confidentiality safeguards.
- A statement about the illegality of any retaliation for filing a complaint, testifying, or cooperating with a sexual harassment investigation.
- Examples of conduct that would constitute sexual harassment.
- Procedure to designate investigator.
- Temporary measures to protect complainants or victims.
- Other remedies or forums available to the victim, including instructions on how to contact government agencies. This includes providing information about federal or local resources available to victims.
- Form to report sexual harassment incidents or allegations.
The Act also orders the creation of an online platform to file sexual harassment complaints (“hostigamientosexual.pr.gov”). Complaints filed through the platform will be investigated by the Puerto Rico Women’s Solicitor Office or the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources.
Goldman Antonetti & Córdova, LLC stands ready to assist you and your business to adjust to Puerto Rico’s regulatory and legal changes. If you need further assistance in this area, please contact any of the following members of our Firm:
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