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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 12-513-ATL (115)

Date: 

April 2, 2012

Contact: 

Michael D'Aquino or Michael Wald

Phone: 

(404) 562-2076 or (404) 562-2078

Aflac agrees to pay former employee nearly $17,000 following US Labor Department investigation of Family and Medical Leave Act violation


COLUMBUS, Ga. -- Columbus-based American Family Life Assurance Co., known as Aflac, has agreed to pay a former employee $16,882 after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the company violated the Family and Medical Leave Act by terminating an employee who took intermittent leave for a serious health condition.

“Workers’ jobs should be protected while they are dealing with serious medical problems,” said Janet Campbell, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Atlanta District Office. “The Labor Department is committed to protecting the rights of employees eligible under the FMLA to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave each year.”

Aflac failed to classify the leave as FMLA-protected because, the company claimed, the employee had failed to timely submit requested documents. However, the Wage and Hour Division investigation revealed that the documents had been submitted in a timely manner.

Under the agreement, Aflac agreed to maintain future compliance with the FMLA by properly classifying employees’ FMLA-qualified leave.

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.

This case was investigated by the Wage and Hour Division’s Atlanta office. Accessible and searchable information on enforcement activities by the Department of Labor is available at http://ogesdw.dol.gov/search. For more information about the FMLA or other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, call the agency’s Atlanta office at 404-893-4600 or its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.