News Release

Warehouse Employer Pays Back Wages to Employee Denied Paid Sick Leave Required by New Coronavirus-Related Federal Law

WILMER, TX – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), MBlock and Sons Inc. – operator of a warehouse in Wilmer, Texas – has agreed to pay $857 in back wages after failing to provide an employee paid sick leave after their doctor ordered the employee with potential coronavirus symptoms to self-quarantine. The leave is permitted under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Investigators determined MBlock and Sons Inc. failed to pay the employee for FFCRA-qualifying paid sick leave. When contacted by WHD and informed of the law’s requirements, MBlock and Sons Inc. cooperated fully with investigators, agreed to pay the back wages due and agreed to future FFCRA compliance.

“Protecting public health and employees’ rights during the coronavirus pandemic are critically important,” said Wage and Hour District Director Jesus A. Valdez in Dallas, Texas. “We appreciate the employer’s cooperation and their promise to comply with the law. We encourage employers and employees to call us for assistance or use our online educational tools if they have questions about new requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.”

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 to either 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.

View a webinar for employers on their FFCRA responsibilities.

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

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
July 2, 2020
Release Number
20-1204-DAL
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