The Families First Coronavirus
U.S. Department of Labor Enforcement is Increasing
On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families
First Coronavirus Response Act which had an effective date of
April 2, 2020. The law had a mandatory waiting period of 30 days
before the Department of Labor could begin enforcement activities.
That waiting period expired on April 18, 2020. Since that date,
the DOL has become quite active in prosecuting cases of non compliance
The law requires private and certain public employers who have
less than 500 employees to provide paid sick leave and paid family
leave to employees who are not able to work due to various COVID-19
reasons. Employers must also post in their organization a new
employee rights poster which explains these benefits to all employees.
On its website, the DOL recently announced numerous enforcement
actions stemming from employers who failed to pay the required
FFCRA leave, denying employees’ use of FFCRA leave or even
firing employees for attempting to use FFCRA leave. The penalty
amounts range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. A few of
these actions are listed below:
- A company in Arizona had to pay an employee
who qualified for paid sick leave when the employee’s
doctor instructed him to self quarantine.
- A company in California had
to pay an employee who qualified for paid sick leave when the
employee had instructions from a doctor to self quarantine
while waiting for the COVID-19 test results of a family member.
- A company
in Texas had to pay an employee who qualified for a paid sick
leave when the individual was hospitalized for a positive COVID-19
- A company in Indiana had to pay an employee who qualified
for paid sick leave when the employee was experiencing COVID-19
symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
- A company in Hawaii had to pay
an employee who qualified for paid sick leave when the employee
had to care for a child whose school had closed due to COVID-19.
government agency in California had to pay an employee who
qualified for paid sick leave for the time that the employee
spent at home caring for her child whose school had closed
due to COVID-19.
company in Georgia had to pay an employee who qualified for
paid sick leave due to a healthcare provider’s recommendation
that the employee self quarantine while waiting for COVID-19
- A company in Maryland had to reinstate an employee
after the DOL determined that the employer denied paid sick
leave and wrongly terminated the individual when the employee
had to take care of their child due to a COVID-19 school closure.
- A nonprofit
company in Florida had to pay an employee after the DOL determined
that the employer wrongly forced the employee to utilize accrued
personal sick leave due to self quarantining, rather than the
emergency paid sick leave provided under the FFCRA. The employer
also had to reinstate the employee’s
personal sick leave.
As shown above, the DOL has become increasingly active in enforcing
violations of the FFCRA. Therefore, employers should carefully
evaluate each request for either emergency paid sick leave or
emergency family and medical leave under the provisions of the
A company’s best defense against
the potential expense and aggravation related to federal or state
law violations is to proactively review and revise as needed
all Human Resources policies, handbooks, hiring procedures, compensation,
benefits, training programs, communications tools and other functions.
The professionals of PHHR are ready to assist your organization
with this type of training as well as to maintain compliance
with the latest state and federal mandates.
Paul Hilton Human Resources Consulting works with our clients to insure that all required documentation is correct and sufficient to successfully defend against a claim to any unemployment compensation commission.
|For assistance with any Human Resources related questions or other
issues, please Contact Us.
Our newsletter is updated regularly, providing
information of interest
to many of our readers. We invite you to check back frequently.
Paul Hilton is a certified Human Resources Consultant, located in
If you would like to subscribe to our Newsletter
please submit our Contact