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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Shelby County Board of Education Paying Employee $112,826 in Back Wages and Medical Expenses

MEMPHIS, TN – An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has found the Shelby County Board of Education violated the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) when the school district terminated an employee for exercising her right to take time off for a qualifying illness. The school board has paid the employee $112,826 in back wages and medical expenses.

WHD investigators found that the employer violated the FMLA when it discharged an employee during a medically required absence after that employee had provided documentation and been approved for leave. The FMLA requires job protection during covered absences, including the continuation of health care coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. The settlement includes the wages the employee would have earned, including raises and bonuses, and covers medical expenses incurred due to the fact that health insurance coverage ceased at the time of the illegal termination. Investigators also found that the school district's FMLA notification policies omitted key information required to be provided to employees.

"The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to protecting employees' rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act and to educating employers and employees about their rights and responsibilities under the law," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nettie Lewis, in Nashville. "The resolution of this case demonstrates our commitment to protecting law-abiding employers and to ensuring workplace flexibility and protections for employees."

The school board has paid the back wages and medical expenses in full and has reinstated the employee.

For more information about the FMLA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at

Wage and Hour Division
July 11, 2018
Release Number
Media Contact: Michael D'Aquino
Media Contact: Eric R. Lucero
Phone Number