News Release

Pasadena, Texas, Employer Pays Back Wages to Employee Wrongly Denied Paid Sick Leave After Doctor’s Order to Quarantine

PASADENA, TX – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Men’s T Clinic – operator of a testosterone replacement center in Pasadena, Texas – has paid back wages of $3,432 to an employee to whom it wrongly denied emergency paid sick leave and terminated despite a doctor’s order for the employee to quarantine with coronavirus symptoms.

WHD investigators found Men’s T Clinic denied the employee’s right to paid sick leave and terminated the employee, both in violation of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Men’s T Clinic paid the back wages, covering the denied leave and the time the employee would have worked if not wrongly terminated, after WHD contacted the employer and explained the law’s requirements. The employer also agreed to future compliance with the FFCRA, which took effect April 1, 2020.

“This case demonstrates the U.S. Department of Labor’s commitment to protecting employee rights during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Wage and Hour Acting District Director Annie Robson, in Houston, Texas. “We encourage employers to use our educational online tools to avoid violations like those found in this case, and to learn about the benefits and protections available under this new law.”

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 provide employees with paid leave for certain reasons related to the coronavirus. Please visit WHD’s “Quick Benefits Tips” for information about how much leave workers may qualify to use, and the amounts 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.

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
20-1904
Contact: Juan Rodriguez
Contact: Chauntra Rideaux
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