More Work Hours to Accrue Vacation and Sick Leave
September 21, 2018
Puerto Rico employees hired before January 26, 2017, were partially grandfathered and their vacation and sick leave accrual rates remained unchanged after the approval of Law No. 4 (2017). On the other hand, employees hired on or after January 26, 2017, have comparably reduced vacation and sick leave accrual rates. One of the main questions became whether the number of monthly work hours required to accrue vacation and sick leave prior to January 6, 2017 (115 hours per month for those wondering) was also grandfathered or if the new requirement of 130 hours per month applied to all employees.
The Puerto Rico Department of Labor (PR-DOL) recently issued Consultation No. 15833 addressing the issue. As per the PR-DOL, the requirement to work at least 130 hours per month to accrue vacation and sick leave applies to all employees covered by Law 180-1998 (Puerto Rico Minimum Wage, Vacation and Sick Leave Act). Furthermore, the PR-DOL also concluded that employers may increase the hours worked by part-time employees, up to a total of 129 hours per month, without the employees being entitled to vacation or sick leave accrual. As per the PR-DOL, this will allow employers to increase the number of hours assigned to part-time employees and provide additional compensation to said workforce while avoiding labor costs related to the additional benefits.
This interpretation is only related to the minimum benefits required by law and employers may provide greater benefits.
Goldman Antonetti & Cordóva, LLC stands ready to assist as you and your business adjust to Puerto Rico’s regulatory and legal changes. If you need further assistance in this area, please contact the following members of our firm:
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