U.S. Department of Labor investigating FFCRA violations, but provides guidance related to COVID-19 and workplace safety, wage and hour law, and other labor issues

Employers and attorneys who advise them should be aware that the United States Department of Labor (DOL) is actively investigating alleged violations of the paid sick leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  As just one example, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division recently found a Texas road construction company failed to pay benefits to an employee who was hospitalized with COVID-19-related symptoms.

Much like the EEOC, the DOL has established a webpage to provide information and guidance related to labor laws (including the FFCRA) and COVID-19.  The page, titled “Coronavirus Resources,” can be accessed at dol.gov/coronavirus.  A document on the website titled “COVID-19 and the American Workplace” contains information about the paid leave rights and requirements under the FFCRA as well as Q&As about the interplay between COVID-19, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

It is important to stay on top of this ever-changing body of law. For example, on May 12th the DOL added several questions and answers about COVID-19 and the FFCRA.  The new questions and answers relate to maximums an employee may recover in an enforcement action against an employer for failing to provider the required leave, and guidance related to whether domestic works are entitled to FFCRA leave.

Rob Jarosh
Billie Addleman
Hirst Applegate, LLP

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