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29, §271 ., along with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), govern the overtime requirements for non-exempt employees in Puerto Rico.Section 404 of PROMESA excludes Puerto Rico from the U. Department of Labor's final rule regarding "white-collar" exempt employees (those in executive, administrative or professional positions). Non-exempt employees are also entitled to a second meal period after five consecutive hours of work after the previous meal period.The topics generally cover the start of operations, the hiring of employees, wage and hour issues, employment discrimination and retaliation, leaves of absence, individual rights, welfare benefits, labor law and union matters, and employment termination. It should be noted that a written contract is not required for an employer-employee relationship to arise. TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT Temporary employment for a fixed term or for the performance of a specific job is regulated by Article 11 of Act No. Similarly, if a temporary employee continues to work for the employer after the expiration date of his or her temporary employment contract, the employment relationship becomes one of an indefinite term and the employee will be protected by Act No. Furthermore, according to the opinion of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico in the case of , 2011 TSPR 137 (2011), it is possible that a court may determine that an individual classified as a temporary employee was really a regular employee if he or she was hired to engage in the regular and usual work of the employer's business and the need to carry out that work either is indefinite or has such a prolonged duration that for practical purposes it becomes indefinite. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR An "independent contractor" can be defined as a person who, due to the nature of her function and the form in which she renders her services, turns out to be her own employer. The workweek is a fixed and regularly recurring period of seven consecutive 24-hour periods that does not need to coincide with the calendar week. 29, §273a, provides the option of a flexible work schedule by mutual agreement between the employer and the employee. Also, if an hour worked on the seventh day also constitutes weekly overtime, it is sufficient to pay that hour at double rate to comply with both penalties. A meal period must be for one hour, unless the employer and the employee mutually agree to reduce it.Below is a summary of the most important subjects in this field. When a termination date is not stipulated in the employment contract, it will be considered that the contract is for an indefinite term and the employee will be protected by Act No. This could happen when an employee classified as temporary is engaged in the same duties as regular employees; when a temporary employment contract is renewed automatically for prolonged periods of time; or when, at the end of the temporary assignment, the individual is replaced by another temporary employee to continue doing the same work. The Puerto Rico Supreme Court has stated that because the employer-employee relationship and the principal-independent contractor relationship share common traits, there does not exist, generally, an unequivocal distinction between the two. The beginning of the workweek, once established, may be changed only if the change is intended to be permanent or for an indefinite duration. An employee who rejects a flexible work schedule will continue to be subject to the daily overtime norms. 83, an employer can allow an employee to adjust starting and quitting times for reasons of personal convenience without incurring the obligation to pay the overtime premium that would otherwise accrue when the employee advances the start of the workday from one day to the next or delays the start of the meal period, as explained in the preceding section. A reduction of the time of the meal period must be for the mutual benefit of the employer and the employee, and said reduction must be stipulated in writing.The request must include a general balance sheet and a profit and loss statement, duly certified by a certified public accountant, for the 12-month period from October 1 of the preceding year to September 30 of the current year. On February 12, 2014, the President of the United States signed Executive Order 13658, which provides for an increase in the minimum wage to the employees of federal contractors to .10 per hour for contracts that began as of January 1, 2015. If the employment ends during any given pay period, the employer is obligated to make the payment for the total number of hours worked by no later than the next official pay day. 17, the employer is allowed to make the payment of wages by check without the consent of the employees and without having to give them time off with pay to cash their checks.This statement must be submitted by no later than November 30 of the year to which the bonus corresponds. Furthermore, for contracts that began as of January 1, 2016, the minimum wage of said employees shall be determined annually by the U. Secretary of Labor, based on the parameters set forth in the executive order. 180 of July 27, 1998, establishes that every employer not covered by the FLSA has to pay a minimum wage to non-exempt employees of at least 70% of the applicable federal minimum wage. Wages can also be paid by electronic transfer of funds or by direct deposit in a bank account, including payments to a "payroll card" as defined by the statute, but only with the consent of the employees involved; however, although there is no case law on this matter, several Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources opinions suggest that these payment methods may be presented to new employees as a condition for employment.If an employer fails to withhold or remit the income withheld pursuant to a withholding order or fails to comply with any of the duties imposed by ASUME, at the request of the creditor, the court or ASUME, after due notice to the employer and notice for the holding of a hearing, shall enter judgment for the total amount the employer failed to withhold and remit, plus fines, expenses and interest that may be imposed, and shall order the collection of the same on the property of the employer.
Should the total exceed that percentage, the employer may submit a request for an exemption to the Secretary of Labor and Human Resources. 201 (FLSA) currently establishes a minimum wage for non-exempt employees of .25 per hour. The payment of wages may be executed on a weekly basis, on a biweekly basis or every 15 days.
The Department of Labor and Human Resources has the authority to conduct an investigation on the financial situation of any employer that requests an exemption. Under the recent federal law known as PROMESA, the Governor of Puerto Rico, subject to the approval of the Financial Oversight and Management Board established by the statute, set a subminimum wage of .25 an hour for employees who are initially employed after the date of enactment of the Act and who are younger than 25. The employer shall bear the costs of the electronic transfer or direct deposit, if any, and shall submit to the employee a receipt of the funds paid or deposited.
The employee has the option of having the voucher delivered through electronic means.
The exclusion will be in effect for at least two years. The time of this second meal period may also be reduced. 29, §501 , also known as the Christmas Bonus Act, provides that every employer will be required to pay an annual bonus to each employee who worked 700 hours or more during the period of 12 months between October 1 of the preceding year and September 30 of the current year.
Furthermore, if the employee works only two hours or less of daily overtime, the second meal period may be waived by the employee if it is for the mutual benefit of the employee and the employer and it is so stipulated in writing. Those employers that employ more than 15 employees will have to pay to the qualifying employees a bonus equivalent to 6% of the salary of each employee, up to a maximum of ,000 (i.e., up to 0 of bonus per employee).