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S. 38 (115th): EMPLEO Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 5, 2017.


Economic Mobility for Productive Livelihoods and Expanding Opportunity Act of 2017 or the EMPLEO Act

This bill amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to require every employer to pay to each of his or her eligible Puerto Rican employees who in any workweek are engaged in commerce and who receive qualified wage subsidy payments minimum wages of $5.00 an hour, determined without regard to those wage subsidy payments.

The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to treat certain employers who make qualified wage subsidy payments to eligible Puerto Rico employees as having paid payroll taxes in an amount equal to the wage subsidy payment.

An “eligible Puerto Rico employee” is any individual who: (1) is a U.S. citizen, (2) has a Social Security number, and (3) certifies to the employer that he or she is a resident of Puerto Rico and intends to remain a resident for at least the next six months.

A “qualified wage subsidy payment” is a payment equal to 50% of the excess (if any) of: (1) the median hourly wage for Puerto Rico ($10 for 2018 and 2019), over (2) the hourly wage paid to the eligible Puerto Rico employee.

The bill sets forth reporting requirements for participating employers and requirements for determining the median hourly wage for Puerto Rico after 2019.

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