Friday, July 31, 2020

Coronavirus Update 7-31-2020: 41,214 reasons not to fire employees who request FFCRA leave

A San Jose, California, manufacturer has reached an agreement with the Department of Labor's Wage & Hour Division to pay 17 employees $41,214 for wrongly denying their requests for paid coronavirus sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Specifically (and much worse than that description sounds), the employer terminated each of the 17 employees after they requested paid leave under the FFCRA. 

According to the DOL, "The employer's action resulted in a violation of the FFCRA."

No kidding!

In announcing this settlement, the DOL reminds employers that they should call the agency for assistance with FFCRA compliance, that it has online educational tools to help avoid violations, that its website contains information to help employers understand the FFCRA, and that it published an FFCRA poster to explain the Act's requirements. 

All of these statements are true. But should an employer really need a website or a poster to tell it not to retaliate against employees who ask for paid leave under a federal statute? 🤦‍♂️ 

Small employers, if you're not paying attention to the FFCRA, you should be. The Department of Labor certainly is.