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:
- Statement by U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia on the November Jobs Report – “The economy continued to add jobs in November, with a 344,000 increase in private sector payrolls and labor demand continuing to grow in most sectors. However, jobs were lost in retail and food and beverage establishments in November, and a number of workers pulled away from the labor force amid rising coronavirus cases. We know from State-by-State data released two weeks ago that the employment situation varies significantly by State: in October, half the States were at 6% unemployment or lower, but two of the largest states—California and New York—were substantially above 9% that month. At 6.7%, the unemployment rate is lower than it was for the first five years of the last Administration following the Great Recession.”
Keeping America’s Workplaces Safe and Healthy:
- U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA Announces $3,403,139 In Coronavirus Violations – Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic through Nov. 26, 2020, OSHA has issued citations arising from 255 inspections for violations relating to coronavirus, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $3,403,139.
Defending Workers’ Rights to Paid Leave and Wages Earned:
- Car Dealership Pays Back Wages to Employee Wrongly Denied Paid Family Leave to Care for Child Amid Pandemic – A car dealership based in Decatur, Georgia, paid $7,880 in back wages for wrongly denying paid leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act to an employee who missed work to care for a child whose place of care closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Housing Company Pays Back Wages to Georgia Employee Denied Paid Family Leave to Care for Child During Pandemic – A non-profit operator of affordable housing communities in Savannah, Georgia, has paid $3,920 in back wages. The company wrongly denied paid leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act to an employee who missed work to care for a child whose school closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Hutto Excavation Company Pays Back Wages to Employee After Denying Emergency Paid Sick Leave to Self-Quarantine – An excavation company based in Hutto, Texas, has paid $1,680 in back wages for denying emergency paid sick leave to an employee who was instructed to self-quarantine by a healthcare provider 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, 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.