Puerto Rico updates Christmas bonus regulations

Puerto Rico has issued new regulations on Christmas bonuses to comply with previously approved legislation. The regulation covers employees who work from October 1 through September 30, of any year.

Eligibility.

Employees hired before the effective date of the Puerto Rico Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act (January 26, 2017; see also Payroll Management Guide, Report Letter 2502, dated April 18, 2017) are entitled to receive the Christmas bonus if they worked for the same employer 700 hours or more, or 100 hours or more. All employees hired after the effective date are entitled to receive the Christmas bonus if they worked for the same employer 1,350 hours.

For employees hired after the effective date:

Any employer who employs 21 employees or more for more than 26 weeks within the period of coverage must pay employees 2% of the total wages accrued up to maximum of $600. Every employer who employs 20 employees or less for more than 26 weeks within the period of coverage must pay 2% of total salary earned to a maximum of $300.

For employees hired before the effective date:

Any employer who has one or more employees within the period of 12 months from October 1st of any calendar year through September 30th of the following calendar year is required to pay to each employee, who has worked 700 hours or more, or 100 hours or more in the case of dock workers, a Christmas bonus equal to 6% of the total maximum wage of $10,000 earned by the employee or worker. Every employer who has 15 employees or less must pay a Christmas bonus equal to 3% of the total maximum wage of $10,000. (Government of Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources, Regulation to Administer Law No. 148 of 30 June 1969, as amended, September 18, 2017.)

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