New Law in Puerto Rico Prohibits Employers from Taking Employment Action Based on Credit Reports or Credit History

Taking effect immediately upon signature, the Governor of Puerto Rico signed Act No. 150 into law on October 8, 2019

Act No. 150 precludes employers from verifying or investigating credit history or credit reports concerning current employees or employment applicants. Furthermore, the Act prevents employers from securing or ordering such reports from a credit agency. Taking adverse employment actions against an employee or applicant based on credit report or history information is also prohibited by the terms of the Act.

There are exceptions to Act 150 including positions in management, positions in the Department of Justice or the Judicial Branch and public order officials. Also exempt from the Act are positions involving access to trade secrets, financial information, personal data or cash/goods subject to misappropriation equaling a minimum of $10,000. The Act further provides exemptions for positions regulated by the Puerto Rico Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions or for situations in which a credit report is required by federal law.

In scenarios in which an exception applies, employers are required to obtain written consent from the employee or applicant as a precursor to obtaining access to an individual’s credit history or credit report.

To ensure compliance with Act 150, it is recommended that employers review employment practices; violations of the Act may be subject to administrative penalties of up to $2,500 per occurrence.

Posted: November 6, 2019

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