About 950 Puerto Rico-based private-sector companies have asked the Department of Labor and Human Resources to be exempted from paying this year’s Christmas bonus, the agency revealed Tuesday.
This year’s preliminary number exceeds last year’s applications by 86, the agency’s Labor Standards division further said.
“Through Tuesday, Dec. 1 at noon, the Labor Standards Division had received 950 applications from companies that have requested exemption from paying the Christmas bonus,” said Carlos Maldonado, deputy director of the Labor Standards Division.
The number may be even higher, given that there may be more applications in transit via mail and others filed at the agency’s regional offices by the Nov. 30 deadline, he said.
By law, companies doing business in Puerto Rico with more than 15 employees is required to pay a bonus equivalent to 6 percent of total wages. Companies with 15 or more employees are required to pay a bonus equivalent to 3 percent of total wages, up to $10,000.
Employers who apply to be exempted from payment of all or part of the Christmas bonus by claiming economic losses or insufficient profits must submit their Balance Sheet and Statement of Income and Expenses reviewed by a Certified Public Accountant, according to Department of Labor regulations.
Of the 950 applications received so far, it has denied three. However, it still has 308 pending registration and review.
Last year, of the total 864 waiver requests received, the agency denied 22.