Are you opening or running a business in Puerto Rico? If so, you can benefit from some knowledgeable legal guidance about the benefits you offer your employees.
Puerto Rico is governed by most federal labor and employment laws. Therefore, Social Security is mandated by federal law. In addition, under local commonwealth authority, Puerto Rico requires that, employers provide partial wage replacement insurance for non-work related illnesses or injuries, and workmen’s compensation insurance. Puerto Rico laws also govern with respect to vacation, and sick days, among others.
For businesses with more than 50 employees, federal law requires compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA offers employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected, although unpaid leave, to birth and care for a child, care for an immediate family member with a serious medical condition or care for the employee’s own health. A close family member of an injured service member is permitted twenty-six weeks of unpaid leave. Group health benefits are continued during the allotted time of the leave.
Additional benefits—such as health insurance, travel accommodations and education stipends—are terms that an employer is free to negotiate with its employees. As the effective date for the start of the Affordable Care Act approaches, new offerings of group health insurance benefits might be attractive and available.
Hiring part time employees does not mean you can avoid Social Security and workers’ compensation insurance obligations. Part time employees are also entitled to minimum wage and overtime. And whether full time or part time, employees are protected from discrimination and assured a safe workplace.
Puerto Rico has specific tax incentives to make it an attractive place to locate your business or headquarters.