The San Juan Daily Star
Johnny Méndez files bill for overtime to Forensic Sciences personnel
By John McPhaul
With the purpose of addressing the lack of personnel in the Institute of Forensic Sciences (ICF), the speaker of the New Progressive Party (NPP) in the House of Representatives, Carlos ‘Johnny’ Méndez, announced the filing of a measure to provide that employees of that unit shall be entitled to remuneration for work in excess of regular working hours.
“The Workers at the Institute of Forensic Sciences are vital to the system of health and safety in Puerto Rico. This measure will give the right to employees from the ICF to the payment at a time and a half with the option to choose the payment of these hours without having to accumulate it as compensatory time. This will help us retain and do more. attractive jobs at the Institute while fulfilling the commitment to the people of Puerto Rico to assert public safety for what it is, a right that the State must guarantee,” said the former House Speaker.
House Bill 1552, which was filed on November 1, amendment Article 2.09 of Law 26-2017, better known as the ‘Compliance Law’ with the Fiscal Plan’; also amends Article 7 of Law 135–2020 (Law on Institute of Forensic Sciences of Puerto Rico), in order to provide that ICF employees shall be entitled to remuneration for work in excess of the Regular day.
The Overtime pay, according to the new legislation, must be made within a maximum term of 45 days.
“Like our police officers, these ICF employees will have the right to Payment on time and a half and will have the option to choose the pay of these hours without having to accumulate it as compensatory time, that as a measure of incentive to hire new staff and to retain existing staff,” added the leader of the NPP in the Lower House.
The Positions that would qualify for the new salary compensation scale are: Assistant of Forensic Pathology, Forensic Documentologists, Forensic Nurses, Firearms and Tool Mark Examiners, Firearms and Tool Mark Examiners Dubious Documents, Digital and Multimedia Evidence Examiners, Forensic Investigators, Forensic Clinicians, Medical Examiners, Pathologists Assistant Forensics, Forensic Pathologists, Forensic Chemists, Forensic Serologists, Photo Technicians, Laboratory Technicians and Radiology Technicians Forensic.
These Employees mentioned above will also have the option to substitute payment in Cash of overtime to which you are entitled for its equivalent in time compensatory.
The Income accrued from overtime worked will be included in gross income and will not be exempt from taxation.
The Puerto Rico Institute of Forensic Sciences has, among other things, the duty and obligation to conduct scientific and technological research with the purpose of determining the cause, manner and circumstances of death of any person whose death is not attributed to natural causes, and any other scientific and technological research necessary for the clarification and prosecution of criminal events.