Gerardo “Jerry” Hernández from Navas Rodríguez and Hernández recently obtained a defense award in a wrongful discharge arbitration petition against a Fortune 1000 retailer in the rent-to-own industry.   In the case, a former employee with over 15 years of service claimed over $160,000 in severance pay, plus attorneys’ fees.  Puerto Rico’s Law 80, the Island’s wrongful discharge statute, places the burden of proof on the employer, sets forth a rebuttable presumption against the employer that the termination was illegal and mandates the payment of a severance payment that is determined by the employee’s years of service and the highest salary earned prior to termination.  In the case of an employee with over 15 years of service, the severance due is six month’s salary plus 3 weeks per completed year of service. Pursuant to the award, the termination was found to be in compliance with the law and the claim was dismissed in its entirety with no amount due to Claimant. 


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