Marshalls, TJ Maxx Still Paying Workers of Closed PR Stores

The Framingham, Massachusetts-based company is still sending paychecks to the employees of its 29 stores in Puerto Rico.

(Published Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017)

TJX Cos., the parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, is being praised for continuing to pay its employees in Puerto Rico even though their stores remain closed due to damage from Hurricane Maria.

"Based on the devastating situation in Puerto Rico, we can confirm that we have continued to pay our TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods Associates on the island," the company said in a statement to NBC Boston. "We believe it is the right thing for us to do under these circumstances."

As Puerto Rico deals with a lack of power, food and drinking water in the wake of Hurricane Maria, residents are also in dire need of another commodity: cold hard cash.

And that means what little other resources are available often can't be purchased by those in need.

(Published Friday, Sept. 29, 2017)

A Facebook user shared a post from his son in Puerto Rico to the #PuertoRicoStrong page thanking TJX for continuing to send paychecks, even though his store remains closed.

"I was worried about my son and he told me, 'Don't worry dad, Marshalls is still paying us,'" Ivan Melendez wrote in a post dated Oct. 21. " And they have given employees supplies. Thank you Marshalls for such an honorable gesture."

It was not immediately clear how many of the Massachusetts-based company's 29 stores in Puerto Rico remained closed or how many people TJX employs on the island.

"Its nice to hear a company that values their staff over just the bottom line because they could have saved a lot of money by not paying them," said Danielle Barney, a customer at TJ Maxx in Needham, Mass.

President Donald Trump rebuffed criticism over the time his administration took to respond to Puerto Rico's pleas for aid following Hurricane Maria. He cited the geography of Puerto Rico, the scale of the damage done to the island, as well as a shortage of help from local authorities who had to see to their own families in wake of the disaster as a defense. 

(Published Friday, Sept. 29, 2017)

"That shows commitment to the community, Puerto Rico. Try to help them out because its pretty desperate down there still," said John, another local customer.

Hurricane Maria made landfall on Sept. 20, bringing devastating winds and rains that wiped out crops, damaged or destroyed 230,000 homes and left the entire island without power.

A large swath of the island still has no electricity, and complaints are widespread among business owners who say losses are mounting and from parents who say their children need to start school. Nearly 20 percent of the island remains without water.