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.