Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

News Release

Georgia Company Pays Employee Back Wages After Wrongly Denying Emergency Paid Sick Leave in Families First Coronavirus Response Act

WEST POINT, GA – A West Point, Georgia, custom machine and fabrication company has paid $1,060 to an employee after the U.S. Department of Labor determined the employer wrongly denied emergency paid sick leave for a qualifying reason covered under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

WHD found that Custom Machine & Fabrication Inc. denied the employee emergency paid sick leave despite a healthcare provider’s recommendation to self-quarantine while awaiting test results for the coronavirus.

“This case demonstrates that the U.S. Department of Labor is working to protect employee rights and educate employers during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Karen Garnett-Civils, in Louisville, Kentucky. “We encourage all employers and employees to call us for assistance to improve their understanding of the new requirements under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act. We also offer many online tools to help employers avoid violations like those found in this investigation.”

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 continues to provide updated information on its 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 agency also 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
June 8, 2020
Release Number
20-1135-ATL
Contact: Eric R. Lucero
Phone Number
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