The Labor Reform is nefarious for merchants

(San Juan, Puerto Rico – November 3, de 2021) The Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce  (PRCC) asks the Legislative Assembly NOT to approve the proposed Labor Reform since it will represent the closure of medium and small businesses and a significant reduction in the jobs available in Puerto Rico, said the Lcdo. Luis Gierbolini, president of the Camaristas, through a press release.

“It’s delusional to think that merchants can start paying double that represents $17 an hour and absorb the costs of increasing the accumulation of sick leave, Christmas bonus and changes to Flexitime without having any consequences for those businesses and for the consumer. Constant changes to these labor laws affect the stability and climate of doing business in Puerto Rico,” Gierbolini said.

The President of the Camaristas added that on the subject of the probation period, “we have been emphatic in conjunction with our Affiliated Associations that 3 months is very little time, because the labor reality is that in many jobs you need certifications sometimes required by agencies such as the FDA and the EPA that can take up to 6 months. Investing in training an employee to learn about the development of their expertise in the workplace requires time and compliance in areas of health, safety, products and services.”

“When you review the proposal to increase the accumulation of sick days you realize there is a complete ignorance of the current benefits that employers pay and employees receive in health benefits, since there are 10 instances currently in which the employee can benefit, there is no reasonableness to increase it, said Gierbolini.”

The leaves mentioned are: Regular Illness (120 hours), Catastrophic Illness (40 hours), Covid Leave (40 hours), SINOT (26 weeks), FMLA Leave (26 weeks), USERRA (1 year for military service), State Insurance Fund (1 year), Maternity (56 days), Domestic Violence (1 week), ADA And Adita Act that requires a new recruitment for those tasks. “Someone can really think that continuing to add to this list promotes investment and economic development on the island. We need to know the economic studies carried out that support that the economy of Puerto Rico can withstand these changes,” explained the President.

In addition, Gierbolini added, “it is totally unreasonable that an employee who has only worked approximately 4 months is paid a bonus of 6%, which means that he can leave that job and the next recruited employee will also qualify for the same benefits, without even covering the need for the service for a prudent period to be able to offer better customer service.”

“We are of the opinion that the “Flexitime” is a benefit for the employee not for the employer. You are taking away the possibility for working mothers to decide if they work 4 days 10 hours and the fifth day they take it for their procedures and become 3 days of rest for example from Friday to Monday. There are those who prefer with remote work to work 3 days in extended days and rest 4 days, “said Gierbolini.

“We can’t keep looking to the past. If they want different results, we must act differently, but with this measure we will be destroying entrepreneurship in Puerto Rico,” concluded the chamber leader.

This is a widespread claim of the guilds and the private sector in Puerto Rico that includes the Affiliated Associations of the PRCC such as Asociación de Comercio al Detal, ASORE, Hecho en Puerto Rico, among others.

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Contact: Sandra González

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