Labor and Employment counseling:  

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. With over 50 years of experience, our most important endeavor is our ability to understand and comprehend our clients' businesses. Our expertise and knowledge of local and federal laws allow us to design the best strategy to solve or prevent problems efficiently and cost-effectively.

JGL provides day-to-day counseling to employers on all areas of human resources, from recruitment, wage and hour, leaves of absence, EEO advice and compliance, discipline, and terminations. We concentrate on helping our clients to prevent and avoid litigation. Our team also ensures employee documents, policies, and protocols, including employee handbooks, are up to date. Occasionally, employers seek to do the right thing without realizing they might violate the law. Knowing what to do and when is a significant strength of JGL's labor and employment team of attorneys.

JGL's attorneys are frequent speakers at professional meetings and offer seminars and training to corporate clients regarding the latest developments in Labor and Employment Law.

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

  • General Employment Litigation
  • Alternate Dispute Resolution
  • Startup Employment Counseling
  • Corporate Governance and Internal Investigation
  • Mandatory Leaves and Health Management
  • Non-Compete, Separation and Employment Agreements
  • Wage and Hour compliance
  • Benefits Programs Workplace Safety
  • Workplace Trainings
  • Business Restructuring
  • Policies, Procedures, Protocols and Handbooks
  • Discrimination, Harassment and EEO compliance
  • Discipline and terminations
  • Labor Management Relations
  • Collective Bargaining
  • Unfair Labor Practice Proceedings
  • Union Avoidance
  • Decertification Proceedings
  • Strike Management
  • Labor Arbitration
  • Sections 301 and 10(j) Injunctions

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, pregnancy, race, national origin, disability, sexual harassment, sexual identity and orientation, retaliation, and employee benefits, ERISA, wage and hour claims, as well as 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 team's ADR expertise has resulted in a successful track record in this area.

Labor Relations

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

 

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