News Release

Florida Consulting Service Pays Back Wages After Denying Paid Sick Leave Connected to Coronavirus

OPA-LOCKA, FL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Raider Environmental Services of Florida Inc. – a consulting service based in Opa-locka, Florida – has paid an employee $1,600 in back wages after having failed to provide the employee paid sick leave for work time missed due to testing positive for the coronavirus. Failure to provide sick leave resulted in a violation of the Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Once the employer received clarification from WHD of EPSLA requirements, the employer immediately came into compliance and paid the back wages.

“This case should serve as a signal to others that the U.S. Department of Labor is working to protect employee rights during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Wildalí De Jesús, in Orlando, Florida. “We encourage all employers to call us for assistance to improve their understanding of the new requirements under the FFCRA. We also provide 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 all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees 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.

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 25, 2020
Release Number
20-779-ATL
Contact: Eric R. Lucero
Phone Number
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