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September 2022: Puerto Rico Governor Declares Monkeypox State of Emergency

14 Sep

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

What happened?
On September 1, 2022, Governor Pierluisi issued Executive Order 2022-044, declaring a state of emergency in Puerto Rico due to the monkeypox virus.

What are the details? 
Effective immediately, Executive Order 2022-044 empowers the Department of Health to implement the efforts and measures necessary to safeguard citizens’ health, well-being, and public safety in the face of the increase in monkeypox cases reported in recent days.

As a result of this declaration, non-exempt employees may be entitled to special paid leave if they are infected or suspected of having been infected with monkeypox.

It is important to remember that to use the special paid to leave, the employee must first exhaust all available accrued sick leave, as well as any other available accrued leave to which the employee is entitled. Also, remember that an employee’s use of special leave cannot be used to measure the employee’s productivity when determining pay raises or promotions. Likewise, those absences cannot be used to justify disciplinary actions, such as suspensions or termination.

For more information, please see the links below:

Article 1 – Article 2 – Article 3

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the links provided above and do their best to ensure the safety of their employees by reviewing and possibly updating their hygiene and sanitation policies to reduce the spread of monkeypox.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

Learn more about how Vensure's Puerto Rico PEO services can help you navigate complex employment laws and keep your business compliant.


This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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