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333 co’s in Puerto Rico exempted from paying Christmas bonus

The Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources has received some 383 requests from private sector employers asking to be exempt from paying the Christmas Bonus check to its workers. The deadline to request the exemption was Nov. 30.

In a press release, the agency confirmed that out of the 383 requests, some 333 were exempt from paying the Christmas Bonus check on its totality.

On the other hand, the government agency indicated that it accepted 37 requests to award a bonus payment that does not exceed 15% of the company’s net profit.

Furthermore, some 13 requests submitted to not pay the bonus check were denied.

Among the companies that will not have to pay a Christmas bonus to their employees are Almacenes Kress de Cayey Inc. (Cayey); Bayamón Military Academy Inc.; Bridge Security Services, Inc.; BVR Ambulance Best Care, LLC; Capitol Security Police Inc.; Centro de Estudios Avanzados de PR y el Caribe Inc.; Dorado Community Health Inc.; DRSI Call Center, LLC; Ecosystems Inc.; El Fogón del Rey Inc.; Frogs Restaurant, LLC (Señor Frogs); G&L Group, LLC (Tijuana’s Bar & Grill at The Mall of San Juan); Grupo HIMA San Pablo Inc.; Hotel Villa Parguera Inc.; Kress Stores of PR Inc.; La Habichuela Guisá Inc.; Latin Media House, LLC; Media Power Group Inc. (Radio Isla 1320); Perfect Cleaning Service Inc.; Puttanesca Italian Trattoria Inc., Restaurants Operators Inc. (Longhorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Red Lobster); Ryder Memorial Hospital Inc.; San Jorge Children’s Hospital Inc.; and Villas del Mar Hau Inc.

It should be noted that the employers who requested exemptions from paying the annual bonus check had to suffer economic losses or gains that were insufficient to cover the entire incentive, evidenced by an audited financial statement and audited profits and losses, signed and stamped by a certified public accountant with a valid license, as well as interim financial statements covering the period until Sept. 30, 2022

Total or partial exemptions from paying the Christmas Bonus check imply that the employer complied with the deadline and the manner of submitting the application. The Labor Department will continue evaluating the application and information submitted and, if any inconsistency is found, the employer is exposed to the payment of the bonus check and the penalties provided by law.

“Just as in 2021, this year we see a dramatically low number of applications compared to previous years, which can be interpreted as a reflection, in addition to the economic indicators that are published from time to time, that the economy continues in positive territory,” Labor Secretary Gabriel Maldonado González said.

“At the Labor Department we annually publish the list of employers who have been granted or denied exemption from the payment of such compensation. This is intended to let workers know in advance that their employer submitted a complete waiver request and during the term provided for it, so they will not be receiving the bonus check unless the Labor Department subsequently finds that the employer’s request is not justified according to the evidence presented.”

Ranger American pays Christmas bonus check
Ranger American President Juan Bravo Najul, meanwhile, said that: “At Ranger American, we’re celebrating with our employees this year-end.”

Najul said “the celebration” includes the usual payment of the Christmas bonus check to some 2,139 employees, for a total of over $700,000.

The full list of employers that are exempt or partially exempt [a bonus payment that does not exceed 15% of the company’s net profit] from paying the Christmas Bonus check can be accessed here.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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