US Department of Labor recovers $20K for employee illegally terminated by Bank of Dudley’s violations of medical leave protections
DUBLIN, GA – The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $20,107 in back wages for a Georgia bank employee who suffered wrongful retaliation and termination after the financial institution violated their rights under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division found Bank of Dudley illegally fired a loan operations assistant at its Dublin location after they exercised their right to request and use FMLA-protected leave for a qualifying health condition. Division investigators determined the employer failed to:
- Designate leave as FMLA-qualifying.
- Engage with the employee regarding their request for FMLA-qualifying leave.
- Safeguard federally protected medical information beyond that required by the certification form.
- Request a second medical opinion at the employer’s cost when uncertain of the physician’s approval.
- Maintain the employee’s medical coverage as required.
“The Family and Medical Leave Act prevents workers from being forced to make the difficult choice between keeping their jobs and caring for their themselves or their families,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Steven Salazar in Atlanta. “While employers may request a second opinion if they doubt the validity of the doctor’s assessment, the law does not allow employers to request confidential medical information or to evade regulations under the guise of other laws.”
In fiscal year 2022, the Wage and Hour Division investigated 780 FMLA complaints and recovered more than $870,000 in back wages for violations ranked most significant.
“The Wage and Hour Division urges employers unsure of their legal obligations under Family and Medical Leave Act or other laws governing their pay practices to contact us,” Salazar added.
The Bank of Dudley employs about 65 workers at six Georgia branches in Dublin, Dudley, East Dublin and Jeffersonville.
Learn more about the FMLA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, including an FMLA Compliance Assistance Toolkit, or contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).
Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions, regardless of immigration status, and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages. Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.