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Puerto Rico: Industrial relations

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

Updating author: Edwin J. Seda-Fernández, Adsuar Muñiz Goyco Seda & Pérez-Ochoa, P.S.C.

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


  • The main US federal law regulating industrial relations in the private sector applies to many employers in Puerto Rico, while a broadly similar local law applies to private-sector employers not covered by the federal law. (See General)
  • Under both federal and local law, employees have the right to join, form and assist trade unions. (See Trade unions)
  • Under both federal and local law, trade unions may obtain recognition for collective bargaining purposes by gaining majority support in a certification election among employees in the proposed bargaining unit. (See Trade union recognition)
  • Employers are obliged to engage in collective bargaining with recognised trade unions, but the rules governing such bargaining differ depending on whether the employer is covered by federal or local law. (See Collective bargaining and agreements)
  • Both federal and local law define certain actions by employers and trade unions as unlawful "unfair labour practices". (See Unfair labour practices)
  • Employers are under no general obligation to inform and/or consult employees about business or employment matters, although federal and/or local Puerto Rico law requires employers to inform employees about a number of specific issues. (See Informing and consulting employees - general)
  • Federal law requires employers with 100 or more employees to give at least 60 days' written notice in advance of a plant closure or collective redundancy to the affected employees or their representatives. (See Informing and consulting prior to redundancies)
  • There is no statutory obligation on employers to inform and/or consult employees prior to business transfers. (See Informing and consulting prior to transfers)
  • Private-sector employees have a right to strike, subject to various rules laid down by federal and local law. (See Industrial action)