Next Generation Partners

Labour and employment in Puerto Rico

Littler Mendelson, P.C.

With a strong reputation as adviser of corporate clients, the labour department at Littler Mendelson, P.C. offers advice in all areas of labour and employment law, including employee benefits and commercial litigation. The team assists with the prevention of disputes, but also has strong litigators with significant experience in obtaining motions to dismiss and summary judgments, while also handling cases before the federal and local courts. Anabel Rodríguez-Alonso specialises in collective bargaining strategy, collective bargaining agreements, mediation and arbitration. Carl Schuster is known for litigating sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation cases. Rafael Aguiló-Vélez is well regarded as a trial lawyer in civil litigation regarding wrongful dismissal, discrimination and breaches of contract, among other areas.

McConnell Valdés LLC

McConnell Valdés LLC stands out for its broad employment practice, which spans wage and hour litigation, discrimination claims, labour-management relations, the employment aspects of M&A transactions, and business immigration. Practice group chair Anita Montaner-Sevillano focuses on business immigration and the defence of employers in employment rights litigation, while vice-chair Miguel Rivera-Arce is highly active in union representation, labour arbitration and collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Reinaldo Figueroa-Matos is also noted for his representation of employers in cases before the state and federal courts, as well as his advice on day-to-day personnel matters.

Practice head(s):

Anita Montaner; Miguel Rivera-Arce

Key clients

Coopervision Caribbean


IPR Pharmaceutical

Johnson & Johnson




PPG Industries


Teleperformance (TPUSA)


UTC Aerospace Systems (Collins Aerospace)

Weaver Schlenger

Work highlights

  • Handled the collective bargaining agreement negotiations for Sol Petroleum following the acquisition of airport operations from Total Petroleum.
  • Acting for Ethicon in a collective claim for wages filed by 116 current and former manufacturing operators, seeking to join 290 other plaintiffs in ongoing wage claims.
  • Acting for Collins Aerospace in a judicial complaint for disability discrimination, failure to accommodate and unjust dismissal filed by a former employee.

O'Neill & Borges

O'Neill & Borges‘ labour and preventive practices department stands out for its representation of employers in collective bargaining negotiations in the private and public sectors. The team also has vast experience of representing clients in arbitration, awards reviews and unfair practices procedures, especially before the Puerto Rico Labour Relations Board in Washington DC. Of counsel Yldefonso López-Morales is well known for handling union campaigns and collective bargaining negotiations. Carlos George defends employers in retaliation, wage and hour, libel and defamation claims. Trade secrets and confidentiality agreements are among Alberto Bayouth-Montes‘s specialisms.

Cancio, Nadal & Rivera

Cancio, Nadal & Rivera‘s labour law department addresses the needs of employers in the public and private sectors. Ángel Pagán is a sought-after civil litigator for labour and employment matters in both the local and federal courts. Marta Rivera-Ruiz focuses on human resources matters for international clients. Litigator and arbitrator Francisco Vargaz-López takes up traditional work, including unjust discharge, discrimination, wage and hour, sexual harassment, workers’ compensation and medical leave matters. Rafael Nadal Arcelay is another key contact in the department, with experience in labour relations, unions and collective bargaining, as well as a niche expertise in the education sector.

Casillas Santiago & Torres LLC

Casillas Santiago & Torres LLC‘s labour and employment practice ranges from traditional union relations and human resources matters to representation during employment disputes, while also focusing on preventive advice. Juan Casillas-Ayala handles employee terminations, reorganisations, class actions, sexual harassment matters and arbitration.

DLA Piper Puerto Rico

At DLA Piper Puerto RicoJanine Guzman co-ordinates the firm’s employment and labour department, which also includes of counsel and litigator Mariana Muñiz-Lara. The duo handles hiring, wage and hour, statutory licences and employee benefits matters, as well as disciplinary and termination cases, restructurings and relocations, safety in the workplace issues and immigration cases. Retail, wholesale, education, hospitality and manufacturing are all among Guzman’s sectors of expertise. The team recently stood out in a large-scale US visa application proceeding.

Practice head(s):

Janine Guzman


‘Very accessible and experts in the field.’

‘The labour and employment team at DLA is incredibly responsive, typically acknowledging my emails within a couple of hours and having careful, thoughtful answers to questions within 24 hours.’

‘Janine Guzman is not only an expert on the substantive law, but gives excellent practical advice. Her client base also allows her to share guidance on how other businesses are tackling difficult issues.’

Key clients

Zen Spa Enterprises

Antilles Cleaning Services

North Janitorial Services

Terumo Puerto Rico



ECIJA SBGB‘s labour and employment advice is tailored to multinational corporations and large Puerto Rican institutions, but its client portfolio also includes local start-ups. Collective bargaining negotiations and arbitration, wrongful termination, discrimination and retaliation claims, and wage and hour issues feature prominently in the team’s workload. Trial and appellate litigators Antonio García Ramírez and Jaime Sanabria Montañez, who is praised as ‘a great connoisseur of labour legislation in Puerto Rico’, co-ordinate the practice group and are known for their activity in matters relating to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Anfranz Vázquez Bragan is noted for her advice to local and multinational companies on their operations in Puerto Rico.


‘Jaime Sanabria is a great connoisseur of labour legislation in Puerto Rico. He also organises a number of informative webinars, which are a plus to his service.’

‘Excellent service. Accessible. Excellent understanding of the legal issues related to labour law. Fluid explanations of legal matters. Very well-mannered and affable treatment of clients.’

‘Jaime Sanabria has outstanding knowledge of labour law and is very accessible. He fully comprehends the legal issues and offers fluid and easy-to-understand explanations. He is always available to field questions about the issues brought to his attention.’

‘Anfranz Vazquez is very knowledgeable about labour law. She is very accessible, understands the legal issues and offers explanations which are very understandable to lay people. She is always available and willing to field questions about the issues brought to her attention.’

‘ECIJA SBGB has a talented team who are experts in labour law and provide an impeccable service to their clients. They are very pragmatic and offer seemingly simple solutions to complex issues.’

‘They provide a personalised service and respond quickly to clients. Their advice is prompt, efficient and practical.’

‘The team’s response times are very quick without affecting the quality of the advice. It is very easy to get in touch with them and they have a very practical perspective when making recommendations.’

Key clients

Coca-Cola (Caribbean Refrescos)

Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack

Abarca Health

Triple-S Management Corporation

Puerto Rico Science, Technology, and Research Trust

Synovos Puerto Rico

Plaza Provisions

Kelly Services



Aireko Construction

Consumers Advocates

Safe Harbor Marines

Amerijet International

Aspen Surgical


Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico

Vieques Air Link


Gerdau Metaldom

Structural Steel Manufacturing

Toperbee (Pearl Vision)


King Uniforms and Industrial Laundry

Wurth Timberline Fasteners



Work highlights

  • Defended Kelly Services in a five-day bench trial over claims for unfair dismissal, retaliation and violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act brought by a former employee, and secured a dismissal.
  • Advising Abarca on local employment issues, including drafting unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation policies.
  • Assisting Triple S with labour and employment assessments regarding its merger with GuideWell.

Estrella LLC

Estrella LLC‘s labour and employment practice counts multinationals including Walmart, Puma Energy and Home Depot among its main clients. The team provides day-to-day support in HR matters, alongside its dispute resolution capabilities. Odemaris Chacón   stands out for her representation of Walmart in a recent wrongful termination case before the Office of Mediation and Adjudication for the Puerto Rican Department of Labour; she was assisted by counsel Guillermo Figueroa  , who joined the team in May 2021 from Baerga & Quintana. Yasthel González  , who heads the practice, advises corporate clients on HR, harassment, reasonable accommodation and leave of absence matters. Experienced labour litigator Gregory Usera  serves as special counsel to the practice.

Practice head(s):

Yasthel González

Key clients

Wal-Mart Puerto Rico

Home Depot, Puerto Rico

Copa Airlines

Puma Energy Caribe

Professional Account Management

Frances Ríos Entreprises

Calvin Landscape

Nokia Puerto Rico

Mentor Technical Group Corp

Polytechnic University

Forensic Building Science

Liberman Media Group

Work highlights

  • Defending Home Depot’s Puerto Rican branch in wrongful termination, retaliation, discrimination and disability claims before both the federal and administrative agencies and federal and state courts.
  • Assisting Wal-Mart’s Puerto Rican branch with handling multiple wrongful termination claims before the state courts and the Office of Mediation and Adjudication of the Department of Labour.

Ferraiuoli LLC

Ferraiuoli LLC has a broad labour and employment offering, encompassing business immigration, dispute resolution, preventive advice and compliance. Litigator Katherine Gonzalez Valentin chairs the department and is best known for her representation of companies and management; her main specialisms include employment relationships and HR management. Co-founder María Judith Marchand handles discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, and unjustified termination claims. Rene Aviles heads up the tax and employee benefits practice group, focusing on pension plan design, operation and reorganisation matters.

Jackson Lewis P.C.

The San Juan office of employment-focused US firm Jackson Lewis P.C. is led by Juan Felipe Santos, who also acts as office litigation manager; he stands out for his representation of employers before the federal and Puerto Rican courts. The group also includes employment discrimination and wage and hour law experts Sara Colón-Acevedo and Pedro Torres-Díaz, who has longstanding experience defending clients before federal and local courts and administrative forums in Puerto Rico and Florida. Of counsels Rosangela Sanfilippo Resumil and Carlos Saavedra-Gutiérrez complete the team.

Jiménez Graffam & Lausell

Jiménez Graffam & Lausell provides wide-ranging labour and employment advice, with a particular focus on defending employers in unfair labour practice cases, among other disputes, and advising on union avoidance, labour relations and day-to-day employment issues. Raquel Dulzaides  is among the key lawyers in the practice and stands out for her expertise in collective bargaining agreements. Nelson Román-Méndez  covers employment contracts, compliance and employment discrimination matters, while also defending clients in employment discrimination and unjust termination cases before the appellate courts.

Pietrantoni Méndez & Alvarez LLP

Pietrantoni Méndez & Alvarez LLP‘s labour and employment team focuses on representing employers in matters covering the full spectrum of employment relationships. Union campaigns, collective bargaining, arbitration and National Labour Relations Board matters make up the firm’s core offering. Counsels Alicia Figueroa-Llinás  and Juan Pérez-Otero  concentrate on terminations, employment discrimination and sexual harassment matters. Maria Rey Cancio  advises on employee pensions and benefits plans. Héctor Santaella-Santé  handles wrongful termination, equal opportunity, and wage and hour claims and also sits as an arbitrator.

Silva-Cofresí, Manzano & Padró, LLC

Silva-Cofresí, Manzano & Padró, LLC  is a much-praised labour and employment boutique focused on employment discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation and wrongful discharge claims. The sizeable team includes José Silva Cofresí, who has longstanding expertise in employee discipline, internal investigations, and workplace safety and health matters; Pedro Manzano Yates, an expert in discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation and whistleblower claims; and Enrique Padró-Rodríguez, who is known for litigating labour injunctions and temporary restraining orders at both trial and appellate level.

Adsuar Muñiz Goyco Seda & Pérez-Ochoa

Adsuar Muñiz Goyco Seda & Pérez-Ochoa‘s labour and employment team is known for representing management in collective bargaining, business immigration and employment law matters. Arbitration and mediation in labour disputes are also among the firm’s areas of expertise. Edwin Seda Fernández chairs the department and assists employers in the private and public sectors in matters involving unions and individual employees.

Goldman Antonetti & Córdova

At Goldman Antonetti & Córdova, the labour and employment team primarily focuses on dispute resolution and is particularly active in defending clients in employment discrimination, sexual harassment and workers’ compensation cases. Howard Pravda  leads the team and has in-depth expertise in the full spectrum of labour and employment matters. Counsel Luis F. Antonetti  handles work relating to occupational health and safety, as well as arbitration and mediation.

Nolla, Palou & Casellas, LLC

Nolla, Palou & Casellas, LLC advises employers on a vast array of labour and employment law matters, with an emphasis on the defence of discrimination, civil rights, harassment, and wage and hour claims, where Juan Casellas Rodríguez specialises. HR policies, employment agreements and training are also key to the firm’s offering. José Nolla-Mayoral mainly assists large and small public and private companies, financial institutions and banks. Luis Palou Balsa is an expert in representing management in labour disputes and the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements.

Reichard & Escalera

Reichard & Escalera assists corporate clients with the day-to-day management of personnel, while also representing them in employment litigation, including  discrimination and harassment, wage and hour violation, and breach of contract claims. Workplace health and safety and preventive practices complete the firm’s offering. Litigator Sylmarie Arizmendi is a key member of the team.

Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret

Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret‘s employment and benefits team, led by Elaine Maldovado-Matias, handles all aspects of matters regarding human resources management. Maldovado also litigates cases under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Toro Colón Mullet, P.S.C.

Toro Colón Mullet, P.S.C. takes up a wide array of in and out-of-court labour and employment work relating to federal and Commonwealth law. The practice is led by counsel Juan Curbelo-Pizá, who stands out for his longstanding experience in collective bargaining agreements and representation of clients before the National Labour Relations Board and the Office of Mediation and Adjudication of the Puerto Rican Department of Labour. Linette Figueroa-Torres, who specialises in wrongful discharge claims, and senior associate Wilfredo Soto-Suárez, who focuses on day-to-day human resources and employment matters, are also key contacts.