PR Senate Bill 1211
Updated: Feb 3
On March 5, 2019, senator Thomas Rivera Schatz and other senators from the New Progressive Party introduced senate Bill 1211 to create the “Law of Special License for Employees with Situations of Domestic or Gender Violence, Child Abuse, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Sexual Aggression, Lascivious or Stalking Acts in their serious modality.”
If approved, the proposed bill will award a special license without pay of fifteen (15) days to public or private employees that are victims or have a member of his or her family that are victims of domestic or gender violence, child abuse, sexual harassment in the workplace, sexual aggression, lascivious or stalking acts in their serious modality. This special license must be requested with two (2) days of anticipation and can be used to: (1) receive orientation or obtain a protection order or any type of judicial order; (2) seek and obtain legal assistance; (3) seek and obtain secure housing; (4) visit any clinic or hospital or attend a medical appointment; (5) receive orientation or seek to obtain any type of help or service.
The fifteen (15) days awarded by this special license cannot be accumulated or transferred for the following natural year. The employee does not have to file a police complaint in order to be eligible to receive the special license.
The employer must allow the employee to use the special license through a fractionated, flexible special accommodation, or intermittent work schedule when he or she has exhausted any other type of license that can be used for the same purposes with or without pay. Also, the employer can request the employee benefiting from the special license to provide documentation that evidences that such license was taken under the parameters established in the proposed legal act. The employee must provide said documentation in a reasonable time period, that cannot exceed two (2) days since their last absence under the special license. The employer must maintain a strict confidentiality of all the information or documentation obtained.
Additionally, the employer must reserve the employee’s work position and reinstate said employee when he or she exhausts such license, subject to the following conditions: (1) the employee requests to be reinstated; and (2) the employee’s work position is still available. The employer cannot consider the days taken under this special license to poorly evaluate, discriminate or take pernicious or disciplinary actions against the employee. Every employer that do not comply with the conditions of said proposed bill can be subject to a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
If you have any questions about Senate Bill 1211 or the impact it may cause to your company, feel free to contact us at your convenience at (787) 765-5656.