News Release

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

SAN JOSE, CA – The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in San Jose, California, will pay $3,680 to one employee after the U.S. Department of Labor’s 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.  

WHD investigators found USPS violated the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which require covered employers to provide paid leave under those circumstances.


“The U.S. Department of Labor is working to protect employees and educate employers during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Wage and Hour District Director Susana Blanco in San Jose, California. “We encourage employers and employees to call us for assistance to improve their understanding of the 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. WHD continues to provide updated information on our website and through extensive outreach efforts to ensure that workers and employers have the information they need about the benefits and protections of this new law.”

The FFCRA helps the U.S. combat and defeat the workplace effects of the coronavirus by giving tax credits to American businesses with fewer than 500 employees either to provide employees with paid leave for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. Please visit WHD’s “Quick Benefits Tips” for information about how much leave workers may qualify to use, and the wages employers must pay. 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.

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
May 21, 2020
Release Number
20-996-SAN
Contact: Leo Kay
Phone Number
Contact: Jose Carnevali
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