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TJX paying its employees in Puerto Rico, even though stores remain closed

Elise Amendola/Associated Press/File 2017

A TJX Cos. spokeswoman says the company has paid employees before when a natural disaster has caused store closings.

By Globe Staff 

The owner of the Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and HomeGoods chains has been getting some rave reviews of late, but the praise has nothing to do with bargain-priced clothing or housewares.

Framingham-based TJX Cos. is being praised for continuing to pay its employees in hurricane-battered Puerto Rico, even as its stores there remain closed six weeks after the devastating storm left residents and businesses without electricity and fresh water.

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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.

Tower would not disclose how many stores remain closed or how many people TJX employs in Puerto Rico but said the company has done the same thing “from time to time under extreme circumstances” in other areas affected by natural disasters.

A user on the Boston-based Facebook group page #PuertoRicoStrong recently shared a post from Facebook user Iván Meléndez praising Marshalls for continuing to pay his son, who works at a store in San Juan.

“Thank you to all Marshalls stores for such an honorable gesture,” Meléndez wrote in Spanish in a post shared more than 41,000 times. He added that TJX also has supplied employees with food and water during the long ordeal. The company has garnered similar praise on Twitter.

After making landfall Sept. 20, Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm, knocked out power to all 3.4 million residents of Puerto Rico. Only about 30 percent of the island has had power restored.


Katheleen Conti can be reached at kconti@globe.com
Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKConti.