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Labor Department requests input on Puerto Rico wage-increase proposal

By on February 2, 2018

SAN JUAN — Following an executive order from Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to evaluate an increase to Puerto Rico’s minimum wage, Labor Secretary Carlos Saavedra on Friday urged the island residents to submit recommendations for consideration by the Multisectorial Committee tasked with producing a report on the matter.

Executive Order 2017-027, which named the members of the Multisectorial Committee, establishes as public policy the search for ways to raise the minimum wage.

“Citizen input is vital to be able to complete this report and be able to take into account all sectors that would be impacted by an improvement to the financial compensation of the island’s workers,” Saavedra said in a release.

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The executive order establishes that the Multisectorial Committee be composed of the Housing secretary, Economic Development secretary, the Planning Board chair, a member of the Private Sector Coalition, a member of the labor union movement, an expert in economics, and two people appointed by the governor.

According to the local Labor Department, the executive order is compatible with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 USC 201, as amended, from which the standards for the minimum wage are taken, so states or territories can establish a salary higher than the federal minimum. Eighteen states, and now Puerto Rico, are embarking on similar wage-increase processes.

The year “2018 will be one of great challenges amid the island’s situation after the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria, but that will not detract from our commitment,” Saavedra said.

The Labor secretary also urged small- and midsize-business owners to make recommendations. “Our administration’s public policy is to achieve wage adjustments that are fair and beneficial for all parties involved, and to drive Puerto Rico’s socioeconomic development,” he added.

Residents have until Feb. 17 to present their opinions and suggestions to be included in the committee’s final report, which they also can email to For more information, visit the Labor Department’s website.

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