Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services in Baton Rouge has agreed to pay a former employee $36,599 in back wages for failing to comply with the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act .
“Workers should not have to fear loss of their jobs while dealing with serious medical problems,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “The Labor Department is committed to protecting the right of employees eligible under the Family and Medical Leave Act to take a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period.”
The investigation, conducted by the Wage and Hour Division’s New Orleans District Office, found that an employee was terminated after missing work due to a serious health condition that should have been protected by the FMLA. The employer unlawfully had prevented the employee from returning to work following a previous medical absence, causing her hours of work to fall below the number required for FMLA eligibility.
In addition to paying back wages, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, which employs more than 5,000 employees throughout the state of Louisiana, has agreed to comply with the requirements of the FMLA, ensure that managers receive FMLA training, reinstate this employee to her previous position, and restore all benefits and entitlements that would have been earned if the termination had not occurred.
The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.
For more information about worker protections under the FMLA, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or the agency’s New Orleans District Office at 504-589-6171. Information is also available online at http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla.
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