By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff
After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Black Swan Inc. – a delivery service contractor based in Austin, Texas – has paid $800 in back wages to an employee for wrongly denying paid sick leave for a qualifying reason under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). FFCRA allows employees to take paid leave when advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine or while seeking a medical diagnosis.
WHD investigators found that Black Swan Inc. failed to provide the employee paid sick leave despite a health care provider’s order to self-quarantine for two weeks. As a FedEx contractor, the employer thought it was not covered by the Act because it provided services for FedEx, an employer with more than 500 employees. As a contractor with less than 500 employees, Black Swan is not exempt from FFCRA provisions.
Black Swan cooperated fully with investigators and, once it understood its responsibility under the new law, agreed to pay the employee’s wages for the days covered by paid sick leave. The employer also agreed to future compliance with the FFCRA, which went into effect on April 1, 2020.
“Employers should familiarize themselves with the new law and pay employees for time off as required under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” said Wage and Hour District Director Nicole Sellers in Austin, Texas. “The U.S. Department of Labor remains committed to protecting employees and educating employers so that all parties receive the benefits and protections the law provides.”
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