News Release

Southern California Tire Company to Pay Back Wages After Denying Paid Sick Leave To Worker Whose Doctor Ordered Coronavirus Quarantine

SAN DIEGO, CA – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Discount Tire Centers will pay an employee $2,606 in back wages for refusing to provide sick leave under the newly passed Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPLSA), after his healthcare provider advised that he self-quarantine while awaiting a family member’s test for coronavirus.

Investigators found that Discount Tire Centers – based in Anaheim, California – failed to pay the employee for what qualified as paid sick leave covering the hours he spent at home after the company received documentation of his doctor’s instructions to self-quarantine. The employer denied the complainant’s request for paid leave under the EPSLA, mistakenly believing that the complainant had to submit proof of a positive coronavirus test to qualify for the paid leave.

The employer will pay the employee’s full wages of $2,606 for two weeks of leave. Discount Tire Centers also agreed to future compliance with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which went into effect on April 1, 2020.

“This case serves as a strong signal that the U.S. Department of Labor is working to protect employee rights and educate employers during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Wage and Hour District Director Rodolfo Cortez in San Diego, California. “We encourage employers and employees to call us for assistance to improve their understanding of new labor standards under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and use our educational online tools to avoid violations like those found in this case.”

The FFCRA helps the U.S. combat and defeat the workplace effects of the coronavirus by giving all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees tax credits to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. The law enables employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus.

WHD provides additional information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to the coronavirus and its effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and on job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic

For more information about the laws enforced by WHD, call 866-4US-WAGE, or visit www.dol.gov/agencies/whd

For further information about the coronavirus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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
April 29, 2020
Release Number
20-701-SAN
Contact: Leo Kay
Phone Number
Contact: Jose Carnevali
Share This