Puerto Rico Governor Signs Executive Order Increasing Minimum Wage for Construction Workers in Government-Funded Construction Projects

On July 30, 2018, the governor of Puerto Rico signed Executive Order No. 2018-033, increasing the minimum wage for construction workers, enforcing laws requiring use of locally produced cement, and requiring the use of project labor agreements in government-funded construction projects.  More specifically, the Executive Order requires that if any construction project is financed in whole or in part with funds from the Puerto Rico Government, its agencies, instrumentalities or public corporations, the contractor or subcontractor must pay employees hired to work on that project at least $15.00 per hour. 

If the government-funded construction contract exceeds $2 million, it must include a project labor agreement covering all contractors and subcontractors, and be included in the proposal and bid. The project labor agreement shall include warranties against strikes, work stoppages and other labor problems, establish efficient processes to avoid and resolve labor disputes that may arise, and provide for other cooperation mechanisms between workers and management in matters related to productivity and occupational safety.  This provision, however, shall not apply to construction projects where a federal requirement prohibits the use of project labor agreements.

The Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources is responsible for supervising and ensuring compliance with Executive Order 2018-033, which is effective immediately.  All agencies, instrumentalities and public corporations covered by the Executive Order are granted 60 days to negotiate the required project labor agreements. 

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.