News Release

Norwell, Massachusetts, Employer Pays Back Wages to Employee Denied Coronavirus-Related Paid Sick and Family Leave

BOSTON, MA – After the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) initiated a compliance action, Consumer Medical – based in Norwell, Massachusetts – has paid an employee $3,076 in back wages to resolve violations of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Investigators found that the employer denied emergency paid sick leave to an employee who was experiencing coronavirus symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis. The employer also denied EFMLEA leave to the employee to care for her child, whose school closed for coronavirus-related reasons.

WHD contacted Consumer Medical and informed them of the leave requirements under the new law, which went into effect on April 1, 2020. The employer then paid the employee $2,307 in back wages for the EPSLA leave and $769 for EFMLEA leave. Consumer Medical also agreed to comply with the FFCRA in the future.

“Employers must take all necessary steps to comply with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and provide employees paid sick leave to care for themselves and family members when required,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Carlos Matos in Boston, Massachusetts. “We encourage employers and employees to call us for assistance to improve their understanding of the new law’s requirements and to use our educational online tools to avoid violations like those found in this case.”

The FFCRA requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to the coronavirus. The Department’s WHD administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. Please visit WHD’s “Quick Benefits Tips” for information about how much leave workers may qualify to use, and the wages employers must pay. Learn more about the FFCRA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Download an FFCRA poster.

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 29, 2020
Release Number
20-975-BOS
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Contact: James C. Lally
Phone Number
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