ICYMI: U.S. Department of Labor Acts to Help American Workers And Employers During the Coronavirus Pandemic
WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor took a range of actions to aid American workers and employers as our nation combats the coronavirus pandemic.
Reopening America’s Economy:
- U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia Highlights Economic Reopening In Willow Grove, Pennsylvania – “It was good to be back in Pennsylvania [Friday] to hear from workers who have kept our essential industries open during the pandemic,” said Secretary Scalia. “I also had a good discussion with business leaders about steps to protect the health and safety of workers in their facilities. Workplace safety, along with efforts to knock down burdensome regulatory barriers and implement strong trade agreements like the USMCA, will be key to the economic recovery in eastern Pennsylvania.”
- Secretary Scalia talks about Coronavirus Relief Proposal – Secretary Scalia joined “Squawk on the Street” on Tuesday to discuss the Administration’s strong support of Americans currently out of work and incentives to return to work and keep our economic recovery going.
Defending Workers’ Rights to Paid Leave and Wages Earned:
- School District Pays Back Wages to Employee Wrongly Denied Paid Sick Leave After Healthcare Provider Ordered Self-Quarantine – The Wage and Hour Division found the school district violated the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA allows employees to take leave when a healthcare provider advises the employee to self-quarantine or while experiencing coronavirus symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis. The school district cooperated fully when contacted by WHD, and once it understood its responsibility under the new law, agreed to pay the employee’s full wages for the days the employee was unable to work. The employer agreed to future compliance with the FFCRA, which took effect on April 1, 2020.
- San Jose, California, Manufacturer to Pay $41,214 in Back Wages After Wrongly Denying Requests for Coronavirus-Related Paid Sick Leave – After an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division, a cable and wire harness manufacturer in San Jose, California, will pay $41,214 in back wages to 17 employees for wrongly denying the employees’ requests for paid sick leave for coronavirus-related reasons.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Labor is focused on protecting the safety and health of American workers, assisting our state partners as they deliver traditional unemployment and expanded unemployment benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, ensuring Americans know their rights to new paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave, providing guidance and assistance to employers, and carrying out the mission of the Department.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.