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23 Nov

November 2021: Puerto Rico Issues New Executive Order Providing for New Vaccination Mandates

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Update Applicable to:
All employers in Puerto Rico with 50 or more employees.

What happened?
On November 15, 2021, Governor Pierluisi issued Executive Order No. 2021-075 (EO 2021-075), which integrates prior COVID-19-related orders still in effect and, notably, includes vaccine/testing requirements for employers with 50 or more employees.

What are the details?

Taking effect immediately, employers must require their employees to provide:

  • Proof of vaccination
  • A negative test result at least every seven days; or
  • Certified proof of recovery within the last three months of COVID-19

Employers with less than 50 employees are not required to comply to the requirements above for now.

Employees who work for employers with 50 or more employees must provide proof that, by November 30, 2021, they have initiated the vaccination process. They must then certify to the employer that they have received the second dose of the vaccine if the type of vaccine that was administered requires it.

Employees will have until December 30, 2021, to complete the vaccination process.

Employees who do not provide proof of vaccination and who are not vaccinated must submit a COVID-19 negative test result at least every seven days or a positive COVID-19 result within the last three months and proof of recovery.

Employees who fail to comply with the mandatory vaccination requirements or provide the required results will not be allowed to be physically present in the work area. For such an employee, the employer can implement applicable pertinent measures, including allowing the employee to use the relevant leave of absence or unpaid leave, if applicable.

The Executive Order eliminates the religious and medical exemptions provided in prior executive orders. Further, employees who are not vaccinated (for any reason) must present a negative COVID-19 test results at least every seven days or submit certified proof of recovery within the last three months from COVID-19. Prior executive orders required test results on the first day of the workweek.

Failure to comply with the Executive Order may result in fines of up to $5,000, six months in jail, or both, at the discretion of a court.

For more information, please see the links below:

Puerto Rico Executive Orders Website

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links and immediately make adjustments to their COVID-19 vaccination policies.

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