Doing Business in Puerto Rico: What Employers Need to Know

Epstein Becker Green250 Park Avenue - The Boardroom
New York, NY 10177

Presented by:
Pedro Barcelo, Esq., WilliamEstrella
Alberto G. Estrella, Esq., WilliamEstrella
Gerardo Hernandez, Esq., William Estrella

Moderated by:
Pierre Georges Bonnefil, Esq., Epstein Becker Green

Puerto Rico employers do not have an easy task. They must comply with most U.S. federal labor and employment laws, and the commonwealth's laws, some of which are significantly more burdensome than U.S. federal law. In many respects, then, a Puerto Rico employer that starts or expands a business in the U.S. may well consider the generally less restrictive U.S. federal laws to be a most welcome change.

On the other hand, employers doing business in the U.S. are subject to the labor and employment laws of every state — and city — in which they have operations, and many state and municipal laws are considerably broader than the federal laws to which Puerto Rico employers are accustomed.

Nevertheless, on balance, an employer's obligations under local U.S. laws may still be significantly less burdensome than under Puerto Rico's. For instance, U.S. law at all levels generally recognizes the employment-at-will doctrine — a huge difference from Puerto Rico law.

The Bottom Line: Ensuring compliance with your legal obligations under all applicable U.S. labor and employment laws can be complicated. That's why it is imperative that you know your legal rights and responsibilities before your face the consequences of a costly mistake.

If you are currently or considering doing business in the U.S., please plan to join us for an informative panel discussion, co-presented by Epsten Becker Green and Puerto Rico's William Estrella law firm. We will review the basics of U.S. federal labor and employment law, highlight 2012's hot labor and employment issues, and identify key state and local laws, with an emphasis on New York State and City laws. Topics to be covered include:

  • An overview of U.S. federal labor and employment law: Anti-discrimination statutes, wage and hour law, labor law, whistleblower law, leave laws, and more
  • 2012's hot labor and employment law issues, including disability discrimination, religious bias, retaliation, sex harassment, and the emerging social media issues, such as "Facebook firings", trade secrets and non-compete, wrongful termination
  • An overview of the current U.S. immigration landscape: Transferring and maintaining key employees in the U.S.; worksite compliance and enforcement; preparing for ICE site visits and audits; Form I-9 compliance; and related issues
  • Key state and municipal labor and employment laws (focusing primarily on New York State and City law): Employers' more expansive obligations and potentially more significant liability under local anti-discrimination, labor, and wage and hour statutes, and employees' workplace rights and remedies under state "common law."

We hope you can join us for this important panel discussion.

To RSVP, please e-mail
Christine Eschenauer at
[email protected].