Sen. Donna Frett-Gregory Calls on Dept. of Labor to Investigate Cost-U-Less Layoffs
January 30, 2020
St. Thomas, USVI- Senator Donna Frett-Gregory, Chair of the Committee on Education and Workforce Development, is calling on Department of Labor’s Commissioner to investigate claims made by employees who were recently laid off by Cost-U-Less on St. Thomas. According to reports, approximately 20 employees were released yesterday on the eve of their 90-day probationary period, rendering them ineligible for full-time benefits paid by the employer.
“In speaking with some of the individuals impacted by this layoff, it’s clear they were caught completely off-guard. I understand employees received benefits packages just last week, including health insurance, before they were let go—and that is most concerning,” said Sen. Frett-Gregory.
“Even further, when they were hired last November, they were not told their jobs were temporary. Had the employees been informed, they would have had time to look for other jobs, or, had Cost-U-Less reached out, they would now have access to services provided through the Department of Labor to assist employees in this transition.”
Senator Frett-Gregory also stressed the importance of social responsibility among the local business community.
“It’s important for us to protect our residents from unfair labor practices and hold those in violation of our labor laws accountable,” said Frett-Gregory. “As Chair of the Labor Committee, I am asking the Department of Labor to investigate this matter. And, I’m strongly urging employers in the territory to act in the best interest of our community and its citizens. If these individuals were not made aware this was happening and do not have access to benefits they anticipated, we need to address it—now.”
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Chief of Staff
Office of Senator Donna A. Frett-Gregory