News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Recovers Wages for Employee Terminated in Violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act

LOS ANGELES, CA – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Care Center on Hazeltine LLC – a healthcare center in Van Nuys, California – has paid $13,640 in lost wages and liquidated damages to a former employee after the employer violated the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

WHD investigators found Care Center on Hazeltine LLC denied reinstatement and wrongfully terminated the employee after taking FMLA-qualifying leave for the birth of their child. Investigators found the employer informed the worker that they were no longer employed when they returned from leave. The FMLA requires covered employers to return eligible employees to the same position and working conditions they held prior to taking time off under this law.

This investigation resulted in the employer paying the worker lost wages and damages. Care Center on Hazeltine also presented the employee an offer of reinstatement, which the employee rejected.

“The Family and Medical Leave Act provides flexibility for employees who need time to address important life events, such as the birth of a child,” said Wage and Hour District Director Kimchi Bui, in Los Angeles, California. “The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to enforcing the law and educating employers to ensure employees can exercise their FMLA rights. We encourage all employers to reach out to us if they have questions about these important protections.”

The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, confidential calls, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.

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

WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation's workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.

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.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
January 27, 2020
Release Number
20-69-SAN
Contact: Leo Kay
Phone Number
Contact: Jose Carnevali
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