News Release

Alabama Janitorial Company Pays Back Wages to Employee Denied Paid Family Leave to Care for Children Learning Virtually During Pandemic

BESSEMER, AL – Eagle Cleaning Services Inc. – a janitorial services company based in Bessemer, Alabama – has paid $2,066 in back wages after the employer wrongly denied paid leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) to an employee who missed work to care for children engaged in distance learning. The children’s school was closed for in-person learning due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) found that Eagle Cleaning Services violated the requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) by denying the employee paid family leave. FFCRA provides workers up to two weeks of paid leave, and the EFMLEA provides up to an additional 10 weeks of paid leave at two-thirds their regular rate of pay to care for their children whose school or childcare provider is unavailable due to the coronavirus. After WHD contacted Eagle Cleaning Services, the employer agreed to pay the back wages and comply with the FFCRA’s requirements in the future.

“The U.S. Department of Labor is protecting the American workforce during the coronavirus pandemic by ensuring employers comply with all of the requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Kenneth Stripling, in Birmingham, Alabama. “We encourage all employers to use the wide variety of tools we offer to ensure they fully understand their responsibilities under this new law. As school schedules and programs continue to evolve, compliance with paid leave requirements continues to be a priority. Anyone with questions can call us directly to speak with a trained Wage and Hour professional to have their questions answered.”

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.

Learn more about the laws enforced by WHD, or call 866-4US-WAGE.

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
October 7, 2020
Release Number
20-1785-ATL
Contact: Eric R. Lucero
Phone Number
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