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News Release

Texas Cabinet Manufacturer Pays Back Wages to Employee Wrongly Denied Paid Leave to Care for Child During Pandemic

TAYLOR, TX – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Burrows Millworks Inc. – a cabinet manufacturer based in Taylor, Texas – has paid an employee $3,736 in back wages for wrongly denying leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

WHD found that Burrows Millworks Inc. – doing business as Burrows Cabinets – provided 80 hours of leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) provision when the employee requested paid leave to care for their child after their school closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The employer then denied the employee additional leave under EFMLEA provisions of the FFCRA that provides up to 10 weeks of paid leave at two-thirds an employee’s regular rate of pay.

The employer paid the back wages due, updated its leave policy and has agreed to follow the law in the future.

“The U.S. Department of Labor continues to educate employees and employers about their rights and responsibilities under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act during the pandemic,” said Wage and Hour District Director Nicole Sellers in Austin, Texas. “We encourage employers and employees to use our educational online tools to avoid violations like those found in this case. Trained Wage and Hour professionals are also available by phone to help employers or employees with questions.”

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
December 7, 2020
Release Number
20-2003-DAL
Contact: Juan Rodriguez
Contact: Chauntra Rideaux
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