Labor and Employment counseling on both local and federal laws.

Puerto Rico’s labor and employment laws are unique and differ in many significant aspects from those found throughout the United States. Our team offers full service counseling in all areas of labor and employment law. Our experience and knowledge of local and federal laws allow us to design the best strategy to solve or prevent problems in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

As a full service Firm in Labor and Employment Law, our practice covers fields such as day to day counseling employers on all areas of human resources, from recruitment, employee handbook, reasonable accommodation, wage and hour, discipline and terminations. We concentrate on helping our clients to prevent and avoid litigation. On occasions, employers seek to do the right thing without realizing they might be in violation of the law. Knowing what to do and when, is a major strength of JGL labor and employment attorneys. The depth of our practice is grounded in the ability to understand an employers’ business to provide the most effective assistance.

We defend employers before the National Labor Relations Board in representation and unfair labor practice cases. Routinely we counsel employers on union avoidance and developing strategy to approach organizational drives by labor organizations.

The scope of matters handled by the Labor and Employment attorneys include:

  • Corporate Governance and Internal Investigation
  • Disability Leave and Health Management
  • General Employment Litigation
  • Labor and Preventive Practice
  • Non-Compete Agreements
  • Wage and Hour
  • Workplace Safety and Health
  • Workplace Training
  • Business Restructuring
  • Labor Management Relations
  • Policies, Procedures, and Handbooks
  • Discrimination and Harassment
  • Collective Bargaining
  • Due Diligence

Employment Litigation

We defend employers before local and federal courts, at both trial and appellate levels, in such matters as discrimination claims based on age, sex, race, national origin, disability, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, retaliation, and employee benefits, ERISA and wage and hour claims, as well of wrongful terminations and reductions in force. We pride ourselves in offering our services to a wide range of industries. As an alternative to costly court or jury trials, we regularly consider alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) strategies for every case, and advise clients on those options. Our Firm encourages clients to pursue arbitration, mediation, negotiation or any other ADR strategy. Our labor and employment attorneys understand ADR and have a proven track record of success in this area.

Labor Relations

Before the National Labor Relations Board and the Puerto Rico Labor Relations Board we have handled numerous representation, unfair labor practice and decertification proceedings. JGL routinely represents employers against unions in numerous organizing campaigns and elections. We have been extremely successful in maintaining many of our clients union free through positive and on going management training. We regularly assist employers in resisting incoming union organizational drives. We also represent employers in collective bargaining and in labor arbitration proceedings. We have dealt extensively on behalf of employers with all major unions in Puerto Rico for over 50 years.

Day to Day Counseling & Business Involvement

On a day to day basis we provide counseling to corporate clients on employment and labor matters, as well as start up of operations, reductions in workforce and shut down of operations. Several of JGL attorneys teach Labor Law, Employment Legislation, and Collective Bargaining at various universities and educational institutions in Puerto Rico. We are also frequent speakers at professional meetings and offer seminars regarding the latest developments in Labor and Employment Law. Our most important endeavor is our ability to understand and comprehend our clients’ business.

EMPLOYMENT

  • Employment Law Litigation
  • Start up Employment Counseling for New Companies
  • Day to Day Counseling
  • Management Training & Development
  • Employee Handbooks & Policy Design
  • Sexual Harassment Policies
  • Wage and Hour Claims
  • Separation Agreements
  • Benefits Programs and Security Compliance
  • Independent Contractor Agreements
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Employment and Labor Issues
  • Employee Arbitration Agreements
  • Wrongful Termination and Reduction in Force
  • Preventive Practice and Counseling
  • Alternate Dispute Resolution

LABOR

  • Collective Bargaining
  • Unfair Labor Practice Proceedings
  • Union Avoidance Seminars
  • Decertification Proceedings
  • Strike Management
  • Labor Arbitration
  • Sections 301 and 10(j) Injunctions

Leading Cases

Alberti v. University of Puerto Rico
818 F.Supp.2d 452 (D.P.R. 2011)
Employee in position of trust does not have property rights protected by due process; and, does not have due process protected rights in a probationary appointment. Statements made by employee were made pursuant to her duties and as such are not protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Ortiz v. Hyatt Regency Cerromar Beach Hotel, Inc.
422 F.Supp.2d 336 (D.P.R. 2006)
Sexual harassment complaint dismissed at summary judgment stage. Employee failed to take advantage of employer’s complaint procedure. Employer did not know or have reason to know of coworker’s alleged sexual harassment.
Rosario-Cordero v. Crowley Towing & Transp. Co.
850 F. Supp.98 (D.P.R. 1994); aff’d, 46 F. 3d 120 (1st Cir. 1995)
Established precedent that ERISA preempts local law that grants vacation benefits to employees if it relates to an ERISA covered employee benefit plan.
Huertas González v. University of Puerto Rico
520 F.Supp.2d 277 (D.P.R. 2007)
No personal liability can be attached to agents or supervisors under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Adorno v. Crowley Towing and Transportation, Co.
443 F.3d 122 (D.P.R. 2006)
Dismissed Section 301 Labor Management Relation Act hybrid suit for breach of collective bargaining agreement and breach of duty of fair representation claiming that terms agreed to in effects bargaining violated labor contract.
Maldonado v. Crowley American Transport, Inc.
181 F.Supp.2d 35 (D.P.R. 2001)
Plaintiff’s Section 301 Labor Management Relations Act hybrid suit barred by res judicata doctrine.
León-Nogueras v. Universidad de Puerto Rico
964 F.Supp. 585 (D.P.R. 1997)
Filing charge before Antidiscrimination Unit does not toll running of statute of limitation for Section 1983 claim.
Pérez de la Cruz v. Crowley Towing & Transportation
801 F.2d 1084 (1st. Cor. 1986)
Leading case holding that Puerto Rico Workers Compensation Act provides the sole remedy for seamen who claim to have been injured within 3 marine leagues of the Puerto Rico Coastline.

Successful Summary Adjudications

Ruiz Sulsona v. Universidad de Puerto Rico
193 F.Supp.2d 413 (D.P.R. 2002)
Ramos-Biaggi v. Martínez
98 F.Supp.2d 171 (D.P.R. 2000)
Ramos Peña v. Crowley American Transport, Inc.
172 F.Supp.2d 321 (D.P.R. 2001)
Díaz Díaz v. Crowley Liner Services, Inc.
281 F.Supp.2d 340 (D.P.R. 2003)
Ayala v. Unión de Tronquistas de Puerto Rico, Local 901
913 F.Supp.74 (D.P.R. 1995); aff’d, 74 F.3d 344 (1st. Cir. 1996)
Corrada Betances v. Sea-Land Service, Inc.
248 F.3d 40 (1st Cir. 2001)

Other Practice Areas & Services