Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) reintroduced the Economic Mobility for Productive Livelihoods and Expanding Opportunity Act of 2021 (EMPLEO Act), which would grow Puerto Rico’s economy by making it easier for employers to hire workers and give every American on the island an immediate pay raise through a federal wage subsidy. The bill extends Rubio’s nationwide proposal of a federal wage enhancement to Puerto Rico.
“I’m proud to reintroduce this legislation, which will help Puerto Rico’s working class as they continue fighting to make ends meet,” Rubio said. “My legislation would expand the workforce, increase opportunity, and ensure that Puerto Ricans are able to earn a wage that will build communities through dignified work. I remain firm in my commitment to ensuring economic conditions for our fellow Americans continue to improve.”
Rubio’s EMPLEO Act would establish an opt-in system by which participating employers disburse pay raises from federal contributions to all employees earning below the median hourly wage in Puerto Rico. Any worker earning less than $10 per hour would receive a raise, up to a maximum of $2.50 per hour. Employers that choose to participate in the program may reduce their share of a worker’s wage to a minimum of $5 per hour, thus reducing the cost of hiring new workers.