A Surprising Puerto Rico [Corporate] Good News Story
November 6, 2017 9:48 PM   Subscribe

In which a large corporation reacts to a major natural disaster with a bit of heart that feels completely heartwarming to me. TJX [TJ Maxx & related companies] Paying Its Employees In Puerto Rico, Even Though Its Stores Remain Closed
The retailer confirmed that workers at all of its 29 Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and HomeGoods stores in Puerto Rico are still receiving paychecks. “We believe it is the right thing for us to do under these circumstances,” TJX spokeswoman Erika Tower said.
posted by hippybear (10 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks. I needed that after the Paradise Papers.
posted by Samizdata at 10:04 PM on November 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

So glad I just bought some stuff at TJ Maxx yesterday! At least someone is trying to help Puerto Rico and its people. I keep thinking of how awful it must be for those who live there.We contributed to some local charities there, rather than Red Cross, and I gave 3 bags of decent clothes to someone who has family there and is taking a load of donated stuff, but that is so little for those who need so much.Good for TJ Maxx for being a responsible corporation, not a Trump monster.
posted by mermayd at 3:40 AM on November 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Great, but to be honest, to this non American that seems like the least a large company that isn't even reliant on local business directory stay afloat to do.
posted by tavegyl at 6:05 AM on November 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Let me break it down for you tavegyl: From a CFO perspective, paying employees not to work cuts into the bottom line and reduces shareholder profits. Stores are closed, you don't work, you don't get paid.

That's the basic expectation for most multinational US-based businesses... profits über alles. The fact that this is the BARE MINIMUM thing you can do to stand out as a positive example is not so much praise for TJX, as it is damnation for the businesses that didn't take a single tiny token humanitarian step.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:04 AM on November 7, 2017 [9 favorites]

I think tavegyl understands the profit point, frogs, but the thing is in all the rest of the developed world and in most, nearly all, of the not-so-developed world, there are laws in which, if you can't provide for your employees safety and assign a place to work, it's not their fault and should still be paid what is in their contract, or a lower fee should be negotiated and agreed upon by both employer and employee while the emergency lasts. Companies should have insurances to cover their expenses in such cases. And maybe, maybe, this helps with pressuring the government to fix things from a shareholder perspective and not let a whole island drift away for over 60 days? Just maybe?

The real question is: Are no other international companies paying their employees in PR? WHY? If this was France, Germany, Nicaragua or Brazil, they would have been sued to kingdom come already for breach of contract.
posted by omegar at 8:17 AM on November 7, 2017 [7 favorites]

I'm glad to hear my irresponsible shopping dollars are not entirely eaten by corporate profits.
posted by maryr at 9:26 AM on November 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

A surprising (to an American) number of large companies accelerate paychecks, have disaster pay for hourly employees, etc. They just mostly don't talk about it, for whatever reason. There are companies that lay off even salaried employees basically immediately, but they are mainly the smaller sort.

That said, it is much less common in food service and retail type jobs, except when union contracts require otherwise. However, in that case most states have disaster unemployment assistance to help make up lost income. Don't know if PR has an existing program or not. If not, FEMA ought to be figuring out a way to make it happen anyway.
posted by wierdo at 9:54 AM on November 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thank you. I needed this moment of humanity and decency. I am also abnormally happy that it was founded and is based in Framingham. #massholepride
posted by anya32 at 11:38 AM on November 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

Are no other international companies paying their employees in PR?

TJM is an US company.
posted by hippybear at 6:22 PM on November 7, 2017

I am now gladder than ever that TJMaxx is my preferred source of discount skin products, yoga mats, and plain black tights. What a good store.
posted by batter_my_heart at 7:26 PM on November 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

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