Nolla, Palou & Casellas, LLC is a young, aggressive law firm founded on the belief that excellence, personal attention, teamwork, and cost efficiency, lead to exceeding clients’ expectations.

The firm was founded in 2006 by José A. B. Nolla-Mayoral, Luis E. Palou-Balsa and Juan M. Casellas-Rodríguez, all former partners at McConnell Valdés.

We have provided the guidance, experience and insight needed to handle complex matters. We help our clients succeed — by combining excellence, business acumen and innovation with cost-effective and practical legal advice.

NPC’s practice includes management labor and employment law counselling and litigation, collective bargaining, employee benefits, and government relations, representing a diverse client base ranging from multinational companies to medium and smaller businesses and individuals.

This our first NPC Law News Flash, it is intended, merely, as yet another tool to keep the business community, our clients and friends informed as to breaking legal developments.

On January 18, 2006, the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources (“PRDOL”) filed with the Puerto Rico State Department its Fifth Revision to Regulation No. 13, which defines the exemptions under local law for “Administrators,” “Executives” and “Professionals.” It becomes effective today.

The Fifth Revision of Regulation No. 13 seeks to conform the prior local regulation, initially issued by the extinct P.R. Minimum Wage Board, with the interpretations of the United States Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) exemption regulations for “white-collar” workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) at 29 C.F.R. Part 541.

The revised Regulation No. 13, among other things, incorporates a steep increase in the minimum salary threshold necessary for exempt status, to $455 per week. Yet, it includes a particular exemption for agricultural activities, and a special exception as to the salary basis for employees engaged in filmaking.

The definitions established by the revised Regulation No. 13 are meant to cover all such “white collar” exempt positions under local laws and regulations, including the following:

  • Minimum Wage, Vacation and Sick Leave Act, No. 180 of July 27, 1998, 29 L.P.R.A. §§ 245 et seq.;
  • Hours and Days of Work Act, No. 379 of May 15, 1948, 29 L.P.R.A. §§ 271 et seq.;
  • Act to Regulate the Operation of Business Establishments; No. 1 of December 29 L.P.R.A. §§ 301 et seq.;
  • Act to Regulate the Payment of Wages, No. 17 of April 17, 1931, 29 L.P.R.A. §§ 171 et seq.;
  • Chauffeurs’ Social Security Act, No. 428 of May 15, 1950, 29 L.P.R.A. § 681 et seq.; and the
  • Day of Rest Act, No. 289 of April 9, 1946, 29 L.P.R.A. § 295.

The PRDOL has taken the position that the revised Regulation No. 13 is inapplicable to employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. Instead, the exemptions for such employers would be defined solely by the DOL regulations found at 29 C.F.R. Part 541. However, employers should me mindful that some of the local laws in question refer to the local regulation for guidance as to the definitions of the exemptions therunder.

If you have any questions or wish additional information regarding this matter, please contact any of the attorneys of NOLLA, PALOU & CASELLAS, LLC.