WK Editorial Staff
The WHD’s investigation of the electrical company’s refusal to pay the employee for time he was quarantined pursuant to doctor’s instructions serves as a warning to other companies.
On April 23, the Department of Labor announced that Bear Creek Electrical will pay an employee $1,600 for refusing to provide him paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) after his health care providers ordered him to self-quarantine with potential coronavirus symptoms.
The FFCRA went into effect April 1, 2020. The employer also agreed to comply with the FFCRA in the future.
Failed to pay for qualified leave. Wage and Hour Division investigators found that the Tucson, Arizona-based electrical company failed to pay the employee for what qualified as paid sick leave covering the hours that he spent at home after the company received documentation of his doctor’s instructions to self-quarantine. Bear Creek Electrical will pay the employee’s full wages of $20 an hour for 80 hours of leave.
The affected worker said he lives paycheck to paycheck and is depending on this payment to continue supporting his wife and children, to cover rent, and to pay other bills.
“This case should serve as a signal to others that the U.S. Department of Labor is working to protect employee rights during the coronavirus pandemic,” said WHD District Director Eric Murray. “We encourage employers and employees to call us for assistance to improve their understanding of new labor standards under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and use our educational online tools to avoid violations like those found in this investigation.”
Further information. The WHD 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.
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