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:
- Roundtable with Restaurant Industry Leaders at the White House – Secretary Scalia joined President Trump and Vice President Pence for a roundtable at the White House with restaurant owners. They discussed the challenges faced by the industry and ways the Administration has helped businesses large and small outlast the virus and position for reopening.
- Vice President Pence and Secretary Scalia Visit Florida and Georgia – This week U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia joined Vice President Mike Pence in Florida and Georgia to discuss reopening the economy in the hospitality and restaurant industries.
- Secretary Scalia was named to the Coronavirus Task Force, led by Vice President Pence, to continue the Administration’s efforts to reopen the economy safely.
Keeping America’s Workplaces Safe and Healthy:
- U.S. Department of Labor Adopts Revised Enforcement Policies For Coronavirus – Throughout the course of the pandemic, understanding about the transmission and prevention of infection has improved. The government and the private sector have taken rapid and evolving measures to slow the virus’s spread, protect employees, and adapt to new ways of doing business. Now, as states begin reopening their economies, OSHA has issued two revised enforcement policies to ensure employers are taking action to protect their employees.
- U.S. Department of Labor Releases Quotes from Written Testimony from Postponed OSHA Hearing – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was scheduled and prepared to testify before the House of Representatives Education and Labor Workforce Protections Subcommittee hearing this week. Sweatt will inform the committee of the important work the men and women of OSHA have been doing to keep workers safe and healthy in this critical time during the rescheduled hearing this week.
Helping Unemployed Americans:
- U.S. Department of Labor Offers Fraud Prevention Resources To Enhance Integrity of Unemployment Insurance Programs – As states begin entering phased reopenings, the Department reiterated the obligations of employers, employees, and all workforce partners to protect the integrity of the unemployment insurance system.
Defending Workers’ Rights to Paid Leave
- Arizona School District Pays Back Wages After Denying Paid Sick Leave To Worker Caring for Children at Home While Coronavirus Closes School – An investigation by the Wage and Hour Division has led a school district to pay $1,000 in back wages to an employee who needed to spend five weeks at home caring for her children whose school closed due to the coronavirus.
- U.S. Postal Service in San Jose to Pay Back Wages to Employee Denied Paid Sick Leave to Care for Child Whose School Closed Due To Coronavirus – In San Jose, California, an employee will receive $3,680 after the Wage and Hour Division found the employer repeatedly failed to provide paid sick leave benefits for time the employee spent home caring for her child whose school closed due to coronavirus.
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 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.