Employers urged to comply with minimum wage increase
Just days before a minimum wage increase goes into effect in Puerto Rico, Labor Department Secretary Gabriel Maldonado-González reminded private sector employers of their obligation to comply with the legal mandate. Starting on July 1, the hourly minimum wage must rise to $9.50, in accordance with the provisions of Act 47 of 2021, known as the Minimum Wage Law.
“After more than a decade without an increase in the federal minimum wage, the administration of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi took a step forward in favor of thousands of workers by providing them with a phased-in increase,” the Labor chief said.
Maldonado-González added: “In January 2021, the minimum wage increased from the prevailing federal rate of $7.25 to $8.50 per hour. Soon, the minimum wage increase in Puerto Rico will enter its second phase, rising to $9.50 starting from July 1, 2023. In light of this situation, private employers must make the necessary adjustments so that from July 1, they pay at least what is established by law. The Labor and Human Resources Department is attentive and available to guide workers who believe that their employer is not complying with the new mandated payment. Likewise, we have staff to assist employers who still have doubts on the matter.”
It should be noted that the increase mandated by Act 47-2021 applies to all workers covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act, with the exception of agricultural, municipal, federal government, and executive, legislative and judicial branch employees. It also does not apply to those working in the private sector as administrators, executives and professionals, among other exceptions.
Employers who fail to comply with this increase are exposed to penalties and other legal remedies available to affected employees.