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Finance & Innovation

These Stores Are Still Paying Workers in Puerto Rico Even Though They’re Closed

“I have to mention this because a lot of people may not know,” Marshalls employee and Army Veteran Iván Meléndez wrote in a Facebook post in late October. “Marshalls stores in Puerto Rico have kept paying employees even without their stores running.”

“Thanks to Marshalls stores for such an honorable gesture. From now on I’ll be supporting this chain even more,” he added. 

Meléndez is not the only Marshalls employee to continue to receive payments from his employer, even despite stores having closed down during Hurricane Maria. 

According to ABC News. TJX, the parent company of T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods, and Marshalls, has been paying all of its workers at 29 locations across the island, some of which shut down during the storm and have not reopened. 

“We believe it is the right thing for us to do under these circumstances," TJX said in a statement

Take Action: Call on World Leaders to Help Millions of People Affected by Extreme Weather

Other companies have also stepped up to support their workers. 

Nordstrom and Starbucks have also continued to pay workers in closed Puerto Rico store locations, according to reports. 

“We’re working to find opportunities to transfer employees who are interested in staying with the company and will offer some relocation assistance to any employee who needs it,” Nordstrom told ABC News. 

Read More: Lin-Manuel Miranda Is Bringing 'Hamilton' to Puerto Rico in January 2019

Immediately after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in late September, several companies pledged funds to help rebuild the island, which suffered severe infrastructural damages, power blackouts across the entire island, and a public health crisis. 

According to CNN Money, Verizon pledged $1 million, Google raised $500,000, and Starbucks donated $250,000. Other companies, including Walmart, Kaiser Permanente, and Lowe’s also supported relief and recovery efforts on the island. 

Public celebrities from rapper Pitbull to singer J. Lo have contributed funds and support to Puerto Ricans reeling from the natural disaster.  

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Global Citizen is calling on world leaders to help the millions of people who have been affected by extreme weather. You can take action on this issue here

Roughly one in two Puerto Ricans on the island live below the federal poverty line, and 58% of Puerto Rican children live in poverty, according to Pew Research Center. 

According to the Department of Labor, 10,000 Puerto Ricans have filed for unemployment benefits since Oct. 6, when the department reopened after the hurricane.