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 Kicks Off Fox News Sunday – Secretary Scalia today discussed June’s historic jobs numbers during an appearance on Fox News Sunday.
- Statement by Secretary Scalia on the June Jobs Report – Secretary Scalia applauded the 4.8 million new jobs added to the American economy in June. He said, “[June’s] jobs report shows that our resilient economy continues to return more people to work, more quickly, than forecast. It is heartening to see employment gains across nearly all demographics. The report reflects that we can return millions more Americans to work in the weeks ahead, provided we bear in mind that economic recovery must go hand-in-hand with safe practices and self-discipline.”
- U.S. Department of Labor Awards More Than $6 Million in Dislocated Workers Grants in Response to Coronavirus Public Health Emergency – The U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of three Dislocated Worker Grants (DWGs) totaling $6,268,512 to help address the workforce-related impacts of the coronavirus. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided $345 million for DWGs to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus. This latest award follows six previous waves of funding, bringing the total amount awarded to states and territories to $245,249,950.
Keeping America’s Workplaces Safe and Healthy:
- U.S. Department of Labor Publishes Frequently Asked Questions and Answers to Help Keep Workers Safe During the Coronavirus Pandemic – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published frequently asked questions and answers to help protect workers from exposure to the coronavirus. The FAQs provide guidance to employers and employees about topics such as the best practices to prevent the spread of infection during the coronavirus pandemic, workers’ rights to express concerns about workplace conditions, testing for the coronavirus, worker training, and returning to work.
Defending Workers’ Rights to Paid Leave and Wages Earned:
- U.S. Department Of Labor Offers Webinars for Business Owners, Employers, and Other Stakeholders on Coronavirus-Related Paid Sick Leave – The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) in Indianapolis, Indiana, the IRS, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) are presenting a webinar on paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) for employers and business owners.
- U.S. Department of Labor Offers Webinar on Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s Paid Leave Provisions for Employers and Employees – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division in Salt Lake City, Utah, will hold a webinar on July 8, 2020 to help Salt Lake City-area employers and employees understand the benefits and protections provided by the FFCRA. This release is also available in Spanish.
- Warehouse Employer Pays Back Wages to Employee Denied Paid Sick Leave Required by New Coronavirus-Related Federal Law – After an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division, an operator of a warehouse in Wilmer, Texas has agreed to pay $857 in back wages after failing to provide an employee paid sick leave after the employee’s doctor ordered the employee with potential coronavirus symptoms to self-quarantine. The leave is permitted under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, part of the FFCRA.
- Employer Pays Back Wages to Employee Denied Coronavirus-Related Paid Sick and Family Leave – Wage and Hour Division investigators found that the employer denied emergency paid sick leave to an employee who was experiencing coronavirus symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis. The employer also denied leave to the employee to care for her child, whose school closed for coronavirus-related reasons. The Wage and Hour Division contacted the employer and informed them of the leave requirements under the new law, which went into effect on April 1, 2020. The employer then paid the employee $2,307 in back wages under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and $769 under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLEA) provided by FFCRA.
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.