Australia: Government Seeks to Redefine Parameters of Paid Parental Leave Entitlements to Prevent Employee "Double-Dipping"
Australia: Tribunal Defines "Place of Work" for Off-Duty Misconduct Purposes, Finds Unfair Dismissal Due to Procedurally Defective Investigation
The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico Clarifies Employer Obligations to Eradicate Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
The Puerto Rico Supreme Court recently held that, in fulfilling their obligation to prevent, prohibit and eradicate sexual harassment in the workplace, employers may adopt rules and regulations that go beyond the requirements of Law No. 17 of April 22, 1988 ("Law 17"), which prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. In doing so, the Supreme Court clarified that an employer is not required to establish a prima facie case of sexual harassment under Law 17 to be able to terminate an employee for violating its sexual harassment policy.
In Rosa Maisonet v. Administración de Servicios Médicos, 2015 T.S.P.R. 19, 192 D.P.R. ___ (2015), plaintiff brought a suit against his government agency employer challenging his termination for violating the agency's sexual harassment policy. The termination occurred after another employee, whom the plaintiff supervised, complained that the plaintiff had publicly slapped her buttocks. Plaintiff had been employed by the governmental agency for over thirty years and had no disciplinary record. Having conducted an internal investigation and hearing to review the alleged victim's allegations, the employer fired plaintiff, concluding that he had failed to comply with the agency's internal regulations and policies prohibiting sexual harassment. Based on the employer's code of conduct, the discipline for a first violation of the sexual harassment policy could range from a 30-day suspension, as the minimum penalty, to termination from employment, as the maximum penalty. The termination decision was confirmed by the agency after the corresponding administrative process.Continue Reading...
Effective March 27, 2015, the regulatory definition of "spouse" under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will cover same-sex married couples, ensuring that these couples receive the rights and protections afforded under the FMLA in any jurisdiction of the United States in which they reside. This definition applies in jurisdictions, like Puerto Rico, where same-sex marriages are not recognized.
Current FMLA regulations provided that whether or not an employee had a spouse was to be determined by the law of the state where the employee resided. Under this so-called "place of residence" rule, same-sex married employees were not permitted to take FMLA leave to take care of their spouse if their state of residence did not recognize same-sex marriage.Continue Reading...
Littler Global member BDS Asesores continues to gain traction in Central America with the opening of an office in Guatemala City, Guatemala. BDS has combined with one of the country's most highly-regarded labor and employment practitioners, Randolf Castellanos. Castellanos' career spans nearly 30 years and he is considered one of the leading authorities on labor law in Guatemala. BDS' move into Guatemala follows closely on the heels of the firm's expansion into the Dominican Republic and Honduras last year. Leveraging the local experience of our Littler Global member firms is a key element of our global growth strategy and we look forward to working with Randolf to provide additional resources for our multinational employer client base.
The following is a list of countries now represented by Littler Global: Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
In addition to the international capabilities provided by our Littler Global member firms, Littler's U.S. offices are comprised of lawyers who have extensive experience handling the labor and employment needs of our global clients. We have licensed practitioners in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the United Kingdom and South Africa, among other countries.
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