Employment of Minors, Regular Hours and Overtime

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Employment of Minors
Applicable Law: Act No. 230 of May 12, 1942, 29 LPRA 431 et seq

The laws of Puerto Rico define a minor, for the purpose of employment, as any child of either sex under eighteen (18) years of age.

Act No. 230 of May 12, 1942 establishes the mandatory requirement for all minors to attend school. However, the law also allows for limited employment of minors by stating that “no minor under sixteen (16) years of age shall be employed, permitted, or suffered to work in Puerto Rico in, or in connection with, any gainful occupation; provided, that minors between fourteen (14) and less than sixteen (16) years of age may be employed outside class hours and during school vacations”, as long as the occupation is permitted by law.

An employer who employs a minor must comply with the Job Description (Form NNT-16) and School Record (Form NNT-70) forms of the Department of Labor and Human Resources of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The employer must submit both forms along with an original birth certificate of the minor in order for the Department of Labor and Human Resources to issue a certificate authorizing the minor to work. The certificate must be returned to the Department once the period of employment expires.  

Regular Hours and Overtime
Applicable Laws:
•    P.R. Act No. 379 of May 15, 1948, 29 LPRA 271 et seq.
•    Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)

PR Act No. 379 of May 15, 1948, 29 LPRA 271 et seq, as amended, along with the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) govern the wage and hour requirements for non-exempt employees in Puerto Rico. The law dictates a maximum of eight (8) regular hours of work per day with a maximum of forty (40) regular hours of work per week. Under the FLSA and PR Act No. 180, these regular hours apply to all employees with the exclusion of executives, professionals, administrators, travel agents, traveling salespersons, domestic employees, and motor vehicle sales persons who earn commissions. The list of exclusions is included in Regulation No. 13 of the Commonwealth´s Minimum Wage Board and is kept up to date with FSLA regulations.

Under Puerto Rican law, FLSA covered employees who work in excess of eight (8) regular hours during a twenty four (24) hour period must be compensated at one and a half times (1.5x) their hourly wage, unless a Mandatory Decree or Wage Order of the Puerto Rico Minimum Wage Board established a higher overtime rate. If the worker does not belong to an FLSA covered industry, but has worked for more than eight (8) regular hours during a twenty four (24) hour period, the compensation will equal double (2x) their regular hourly wage, as long as their work hours do not exceed forty (40) hours. This last condition may also be waived as long there is a Mandatory Decree or an agreement between the parties.

In Puerto Rico, the FLSA applies to:
  1. Employers with an annual business volume exceeding $500,000.
  2. Employees of an employer who does not meet the stated annual volume but whose employees are engaged directly in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for interstate commerce.  
  3. To the extent that the Company’s annual business volume is in excess of $500,000, it will be subject to the FLSA.  The Company will also be subject to Puerto Rico legislation with respect to wages and hours not covered by the FLSA.
Under Federal Law:
Weekly Daily
  • The workweek is a fixed and regularly recurring period of seven consecutive 24-hour periods. It does not need to be calendar nor the same for all employees.  
  • The beginning of the workweek, once established, may be changed only if the change is intended to be permanent and is not designed to circumvent the overtime requirements of the FLSA.    
There is no requirement to pay daily overtime compensation under Federal law.

Under Puerto Rico Law:
Puerto Rico’s overtime pay applicable to companies and employees covered by the FLSA is the same provided by the Federal statute, or, time and one half (1½) for all hours in excess of forty (40) during the workweek. There is a recurring problem with daily overtime.  While the workweek is fixed, the Puerto Rico Department of Labor has taken the position that the day is not.  For purposes of daily overtime computation, the Department takes into account any twenty-four (24) hour period.  

Failure to comply with the law regarding the payment of wages, including overtime, will result in the employer being liable for: (1) the principal amount not paid, plus (2) a penalty in the amount of an equal sum.  The employer may also be liable for other costs, expenses, interests, and attorneys’ fees.

The statutory time limitation for claims regarding unpaid wages is three (3) years beginning on the date of termination of employment.

Summary Tables of Regular Hours and Overtime in Puerto Rico
Weekly Hours and Overtime
   Maximum Hours per Week
 Rate Overtime per Week
Federal: FLSA
 40  Hourly  Excess of 40 hours
 1.5 x hourly wage
PR Act No. 379
 40  Hourly  Excess of 40 hours
 1.5 x hourly wage

Daily Hours and Overtime
  Maximum hours per day
Rate Overtime per day
Hourly wage
Federal: FLSA
 24  Hourly Wage
 Excess of 40 hours per week
 1.5 x hourly wage
PR: Act No. 379
 8  Hourly Wage
 Excess of 8 hours per day
 1.5 x hourly wage

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