A Los Angeles produce company has paid $6,000 in back wages to five employees after wrongly denying them paid sick leave after they received coronavirus diagnoses, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Wednesday.
DeFranco & Sons were found to have violated requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act by denying the paid sick leave by failing to pay the employees for the time they needed to be absent from work, according to the department’s Wage and Hour Division.
After investigators explained the employer’s FFCRA responsibilities, DeFranco & Sons agreed to pay the back wages and comply with the requirements in the future, the WHD said.
“The U.S. Department of Labor is protecting the American workforce during the coronavirus pandemic by ensuring employers comply with all of the requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” said WHD District Director Kimchi Bui in Los Angeles.
“The Wage and Hour Division encourages employers and employees to contact us to learn about their rights and responsibilities and about the benefits and protections this new law provides. We offer many online tools to help employers understand the requirements and avoid violations like those found in this investigation.”
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. 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.
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