NEWSLETTERS 2011


O'Neill & Borges LLC Labor Department obtains decision from the Puerto Rico Supreme Court favoring employers in dismissal and retaliation cases
O’Neill & Borges, LLC obtains a leading labor and employment case under various local statutes: Law 80 (Wrongful Discharge Act); Law 139 (Short Term Non Occupational Disability Act or SINOT); and Law 115 (Anti-Retaliation Act). In a unanimous decision, the Puerto Rico Supreme Court held, in José Feliciano Martes v. Sheraton Old san Juan, (Op. issued on July 5th, 2011), that plaintiff’s discharge for failing to notify his absences in the manner specified in the hotel’s manual was justified and the hotel’s automatic discharge rule was reasonable under Law 80; that the duty to reserve employment under SINOT is not activated until the employee files a complete application with all parts filled out and is granted the benefits by the Agency; that the act of asking the employer to fill out the SINOT application is a protected activity under Law 115; it also adopted federal jurisprudence regarding the burden shifting framework in retaliation cases and held that plaintiff did not prove that defendant’s reason for firing him was pretextual. In doing so, the Supreme Court overturned the Court of First Instance’s decisions based on alleged credibility determinations.

 

New Additions to the Bankruptcy, Reorganization, and Creditors’ Rights Group
O’Neill & Borges, LLC is pleased to announce that, effective on July 1, 2011, two additional attorneys will join its Bankruptcy, Reorganization, and Creditors’ Rights Group. These attorneys strengthen our team with additional support, depth and experience on, among other things, foreclosure, lender liability and workouts. On March 21, 2011, O’Neill & Borges, LLC added an additional attorney to this practice, focusing on bankruptcy and foreclosure matters. Further, an additional attorney will be joining the group in the next months to focus on bankruptcy and reorganizations. O’Neill & Borges, LLC continues to have the largest bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, restructuring, and insolvency practice in Puerto Rico, and the recent addition to our group of these attorneys will assist in maintaining, in this growing practice, the high quality service and responsiveness that our clients demand and expect from our group. Click here to download the group profile.

 

The Puerto Rico Legislature Approves Tax Amnesty on Personal and Real Property Tax Debts
Act No. 94 of June 16, 2011 (“Act No. 94”) provides an amnesty consisting of the total elimination of interest, penalties and surcharges on certain unpaid real and personal property taxes. For a description of Act No. 94, Click here to download the newsletter.

 

The Puerto Rico Legislature enacts new Trade & Industrial Secrets Protection Act
More businesses around the world are using trade secrets as a mechanism to protect valuable information that cannot be patented or is in the process of being patented. Moreover, when compared with other types of protections, many organizations prefer protection as a “trade secret” because of its lower implementation costs and the possibility of perpetual protection. With Puerto Rico’s newly enacted Trade & Industrial Secrets Protection Act, Act No. 80 of June 3, 2011, the Legislature aims to provide the same protections as other jurisdictions in the United States. Click here to download the newsletter.

 

Ex-convicts May Soon Claim Discrimination Protection
On June 24, 2011 the Puerto Rico House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 1730 which, if signed by the Governor, will provide individuals with past criminal records the same protection against employment discrimination as provided to other covered groups under Puerto Rico’s General Antidiscrimination in Employment Act, Commonwealth Law No. 100 of June 30, 1959, as amended. Click here to download the newsletter.

 

Court Opens Door to More Retaliation Claims
Can an employer be held liable under Title VII antiretaliation provisions when it fires an employee who has a romantic relation with another co-worker, when the latter has presented an employment discrimination claim against the employer? The United States Supreme Court recently answered this question in the affirmative. Thompson v. North American Stainless (Op. January 24, 2011). In doing so, the Court has expanded the availability of retaliation claims under Title VII, and probably under other employment discrimination laws, to a broader group of individuals. Click here to download the newsletter.

 

New Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code Approved
A new Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code was signed into law as Act No. 1 of January 31, 2011 known as the "Puerto Rico Intemal Revenue Code for a New Puerto Rico” (the “New Code"). The New Code amends and adds new provisions to former Section 1165 of the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code of 1994, as amended (the “1994 Code"), which governed the qualification of pension plans in Puerto Rico. Click here to download the newsletter.

 

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
O'Neill & Borges LLC' February 2011 "Labor & Employment Legal Alert" examines the EEOC regulations interpreting the requirements of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which affects how and when employers can obtain certain type of medical information from employees. These regulations went into effect on January 10, 2011. Click here to download newsletter.

 


NEWSLETTERS 2010


Former Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO), Javier Vázquez-Morales, rejoins the Firm as partner in the Corporate Department

O'Neill & Borges LLC, is pleased to announce that Javier Vázquez-Morales, former Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO), rejoins the Firm as partner in the Corporate Department. Before serving in Governor Luis Fortuño’s economic development team, Vázquez-Morales was a partner and had been associated with the Firm since 1999. Mr. Vázquez-Morales diverse practice involves corporate law, real estate and government affairs.
 

Yldefonso López appointed Director of Labor and Government Relations of the Puerto Rico Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management

Cn September 29, 2010, Yldefonso López Morales, was appointed Director of Labor and Government Relations of the Puerto Rico Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). With more than 250,000 members in 140 countries, SHRM is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. In his position in the Board of Directors, Mr. López will serve as a liaison between SHRM-PR and SHRM’s national office.

 

Yldefonso López participates as panelist at the “Conferencia del Ministerio Público de Puerto Rico” and “Labor and Employment Forum”

Yldefonso López Morales was the speaker at the “Conferencia del Ministerio Público de Puerto Rico”, held on September 16, 2010, at El Conquistador Resort. Mr. López discussed the myriad of legal issues surrounding the use of the internet and other social networks in the workplace.


On September 24, 2010, our partner, Yldefonso López Morales will be the Moderator for the “Labor and Employment Law Forum” at the SHRM Annual Conference in El Conquistador Resort. Mr. López, who will also be a speaker, will lead a panel of experts in the discussion of the possible solutions to emerging challenges in the labor and employment area.

 

New Tourism Development Act. Click here to download the newsletter.

 

Governor Luis Fortuño signs Executive Order that Favors Alternative Sources of Energy. Click here to download a copy of the Executive Order.
 

O'Neill & Borges LLC Named One of the Top Ranked Firms in Latin America for 2010 by Chambers Latin America.

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Approval of the Puerto Rico Permits Process Reform Act. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Proposed "Stimulus to Real State Market Act" Click here to download newsletter.

 

Property Tax Amnesty and Compulsory Registration of Un-Appraised Property. Click to download newsletter.

 

Transitional Relief Provided by IRS for Tax-Free Transfer. Click here to download newsletter.

 


NEWSLETTERS 2009


Dismissal/Severance Payment Held Income Tax Free. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Puerto Rico's "New and Improved" 2009 Trademark Act. Click here to download newsletter.

 

The New Puerto Rico Rules of Evidence and How They May Impact Your Business Operation. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Federal Regulatory and State Judicial Developments in Environmental Law. Click here to download client briefing.

 

COBRA Subsidy Period Extended; New Notices Required. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Puerto Rico Permits Process Reform Act. Click here to download alert.

 

The Technical Amendments Act. Click here to download alert.

 

Fiscal Reconstruction Plan. Click here to download newsletter.

 

New COBRA Changes Require Immediate Attention. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Annual Sales Tax Returns Must be Filed by All Merchants. Click here to download alert.

 

New Employment Laws on the Horizon. Click here to download newsletter.

 


NEWSLETTERS 2008


New Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Multi-Sector General Permit 2008. Click here to download client briefing.

 

The ADA's "Disability" Definition Broadened. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Changes Affecting Qualified Plans. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Incentives for Small to Medium Businesses Approved. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Final 2008 Construction General Permit. Click here to download client briefing.

 

National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Gasoline Dispensing Facilities; Environmental Protection Agency - Publication for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Water Transfer Final Rule. Click here to download client briefing.

 

Puerto Rico Department of Health - Regulation for the Licensing and Control of Establishments and Persons who Manufacture, Distribute, Dispense, and Sell Drugs and Devices. Click here to download client briefing.

 

Local Land Use Regulatory Developments. Click here to download client briefing.

 

Discrimination Law May Soon Protect Ex-Convicts; Tax-Exempt Discharge Indemnity. Click here to download newsletter.

 

New Economic Incentives Act Approved. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Proposed 2008 Construction General Permit. Click here to download client briefing.

 

Greater Flexibility Granted for Payments of Wages; First Expansion of FMLA Rights; Jilted Lover's Offensive Conduct can Violate Title VII; Educational Repayment Agreements may be Invalid; Email Policy Prohibiting Non-Job Related Solicitations are Valid if Applied on a Nondiscriminatory Basis; Important Reminders. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Amendments to Various Planning Board Regulations. Click here to download client briefing.

 


NEWSLETTERS 2007


New I-9 Form Issued. Click here to download newsletter.

 

New Rules Protecting Employee Social Security Numbers in Employer Records. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Beware: Verbal Promise of Continued Employment Recognized; Legislative Watch; New Laws; Bills Recently Passed; Pending Bills; Regulation-Employee Information. Click here to download newsletter.

 

The New Federal Minimum Wage; Legislative Watch; Court Decisions; News from the NLRB. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Use Declaration Deadline for Existing Trademark Registrations. Click here to download newsletter.

 

E-Discovery and its Impact on Future Record Keeping. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Discrimination Law now Protects Domestic and Sex Violence Victims; Electronically Stored Data and Messages Open to Discovery; Cyber-Sexual Harassment Banned; Breastfeeding Break Increased; Work at Home Now Covered by Local Worker’s Comp; New Restrictions on the use of Social Security Numbers; Employment of Ex-Convicts; Federal Minimum Wage Alert; Legislative Watch; Court Decisions. Click here to download newsletter.

 


NEWSLETTERS 2006


Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board – General Permit Regulation. Click here to download client briefing.

 

Employers must Establish Domestic Violence Protocol; Christmas Bonus Reminder; Legislative Watch; Court Decisions; NLRB Decisions. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Union Activity; Recent NLRB Rules for the Non-Union Employer. Click here to download newsletter.

 

State Insurance Fund Announces New Premium Rates; Supreme Court Opens Door for Retaliation Claims; White Collar Exemptions; Pending Labor Bills. Click here to download newsletter.

 

EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiries Standard. Click here to download client briefing.

 

Proposed Exclusion of Certain Water Transfers from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. Click here to download client briefing.

 

Extraordinary Tax of 5% Approved. Click here to download newsletter.

 


NEWSLETTERS 2005


Paying for Non-Productive Time; Refusal to Hire due to Criminal Record; Wrongful Discharge Calculations. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Significant Hike in Dismissal Payments; Christmas Bonus also Increased; Local Minimum Wage “Warning”; Employment Claims may now be Decided by The Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Proposed amendment to the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code of 1994, to impose an additional transitory tax over certain type of income of financial institutions engaged in business in Puerto Rico. Click here to download client briefing.

 

Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. Click here to download newsletter.

 


NEWSLETTERS 2004


Puerto Rico Approves new LLC Statute. Click here to download newsletter.

 

Puerto Rico Department of Labor Granted Authority to Decide Employee Claims; Employee with Disability Definition Expanded. Click here to download newsletter.

 

DOL's New Rules Redefine Overtime Exempt Employees. Click here to download newsletter.

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