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Junta Fiscal

Carrión III's Company Would Allegedly Benefit from Elimination of Act 80

Could establish a conflict of interest at the FCB

Representative for the Popular Democratic Party (PPD), Ramón Luis Cruz Burgos, claimed today that the derogation of Act 80 would create a market for insurance policies in Puerto Rico and would directly benefit a company which chairmen of the Fiscal Control Board (FCB), Jose Carrión III, presides over.

Carrión has been the one helming the negotiations with governor Ricardo Rosselló to have the Act, which defends employees from unjust termination of employment, eliminated.

'The president of the FCB, Jose Carrión, is also the president of the Board of Directors of the company HUB International CLC. That company offers insurance policies in the market known as 'Employment Practices Liability Insurance' (EPLI) which protect employers in case of lawsuits for unjustified terminations. Currently, the existence of Act 80 makes it unnecessary for employers to acquire such insurance coverage, since the risk is limited to payment of severance. However, when eliminating Act 80, a million dollar market would open in Puerto Rico for the sale of that kind of product,' Cruz Burgos indicated in written remarks.

The alternate spokesperson for the PPD in the island's House of Representatives mentioned that he possesses evidence that shows that HUB International CLC's website asks for every person who has employees to acquire an EPLI to avoid the risk of lawsuits for unlawful dismissals. The product that Carrión III's company offers establishes a protection against these claims without limit, which could increase its sale before the elimination of Act 80, in which a compensation is established.

'Mr. Carrión and the Board's obstinate lobbying for the elimination of Act 80 marks serious conflicts of interest as him, and the company he leads, would benefit economically with the elimination of said Act,' the legislator explained while also establishing that the governor knew of this conflict of interests and has approved the decision.

The Board has reacted through written declarations, cataloguing the claims as 'absurd'.

'The allegations that the proposed derogation of Act 80 has the purpose of economically benefiting the chairman of the FCB is not only absurd, irresponsible and libel, it also demonstrates a total ignorance of the insurance industry and the nature of its products and services,' read a press release

At the same time, the Board left clear that the derogation of this legislation is asked to reinforce the job environment in Puerto Rico.

Various weeks ago, Rosselló announced an agreement with the organism created under the Barack Obama administration, which included the elimination of the mentioned Act in exchange for continuing to issue Christmas bonuses to the public employees and not reducing vacation and sick leaves to the workers.

Rosselló's speech centered at the time around the strategic agreement that would safeguard the rights acquired by employees, however, he himself presented the Labor Reform 2.0 which would have established said measures had he not retracted it later after powerful opposition from the public and further austerity measures asked by the FCB.

At the time, the Senate approved the derogation of this law prospectively, however, both Rosselló and the FCB have stated that the amendment does not comply with the agreement between the government and the organism supervising the public finances of the country.

You may seek Carrión III company and the services they offer here.

José Carrión III, presidente de la Junta de Control Fiscal. (Nahira Montcourt / NotiCel)