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Puerto Rico Act 180 of 1998 Amended

Last week, Governor Alejandro García Padilla signed House Bill 695 into law. The Act amends Act No. 180 of July 27, 1998 to allow non-exempt employees in the private sector to use up to five (5) accrued sick leave days, as long as they maintain available (presumably for their own use) a balance of at least five (5) sick leave days, to provide care and attention due to illness of their sons, daughters, spouse or parents; or minor children, elderly or disabled persons under their legal custody or guardianship. “Elderly person” is defined by the Act as any person 60 years of age or older. “Disabled persons” is defined as any person with a physical, mental or sensorial impairment that substantially limits one or more of the individual’s essential life activities.

The Act as amended, maintains in effect the employee’s obligation to comply with the rules of conduct established by the employer regarding attendance, punctuality and medical certificates if the absence exceeds two (2) workdays, and well as to offer periodic reports about the continuation of the illness. Such medical certificates are also required for the illnesses or conditions of the persons that will receive the care and attention of the employee.

This amendment will not apply to businesses with fifteen (15) employees or less.

The Act became effective immediately.

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