News Release

Selma, Alabama, Employer Pays Back Wages to Employee Denied Paid Sick Leave Under Families First Coronavirus Response Act

SELMA, AL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Christian Services for Children in Alabama – based in Selma, Alabama – has paid $2,800 in back wages to an employee for violating the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

WHD investigators found that Christian Services for Children in Alabama wrongfully denied an employee paid leave needed to care for her children whose day care closed due to the coronavirus. While the employer offered the option to work from home, the employee was unable to complete her job duties and care for her children at the same time. In that case, she was entitled to paid leave at two-thirds her rate of pay. When advised of its obligations under the FFCRA, the company agreed to pay the back wages.

“Employees protected under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act must be provided leave and paid as the law requires,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Kenneth Stripling, in Birmingham, Alabama. “The Wage and Hour Division stands ready to assist employers that may not fully understand their responsibilities to provide paid leave under this new law. We 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 provide paid leave reimbursed by tax credits, 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
July 24, 2020
Release Number
20-1320-ATL
Contact: Eric R. Lucero
Phone Number
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