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Puerto Rico: Equal opportunities

Original authors: Shiara Diloné-Fernández, Elizabeth Pérez-Lleras, Littler.

Consultant editor: Edwin J Seda-Fernández, Adsuar Muñiz Goyco Seda & Pérez-Ochoa, PSC

See the legal services provided by the authors of XpertHR International > Puerto Rico, including any discounts/offers for subscribers.


  • US federal law applicable in Puerto Rico prohibits employment discrimination on various grounds, while local law adds several further grounds (such as sexual orientation) and also differs from federal law in some areas. (See General)
  • Under local law, discrimination in relation to employment is prohibited on grounds including age, race, colour, sex, pregnancy or childbirth, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, national or social origin, social condition, genetic information, veteran condition, service in the armed forces, marriage to another employee, political or religious beliefs, and being a victim or perceived victim of domestic violence, sexual aggression or stalking. (See Specific provisions)
  • Some potential exemptions apply to the prohibitions of discrimination under both federal and local law. (See Exemptions)
  • Federal law prohibits sexual harassment and harassment on various other grounds, while local law contains additional provisions on sexual harassment. (See Harassment, sexual harassment and workplace harassment)
  • Employees receive various protections against "retaliation" by their employer for exercising their rights under federal and local discrimination law. (See Victimisation)
  • Employers are not generally required or permitted by federal or local law to take positive action in favour of minority or under-represented groups. (See Positive action)
  • A range of remedies are available to employees and job applicants where an employer is found to have breached federal or local discrimination law, depending on the particular statute involved, and on the harm caused by the discrimination. (See Remedies and penalties)