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View More Press Releases by Wage and Hour Division [WHD], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Press release:

Arizona School District Pays Back Wages After Denying Paid Sick Leave To Worker Caring for Children at Home While Coronavirus Closes School

Issued by: Wage and Hour Division [WHD], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Date: May 21, 2020

SOMERTON, AZ – An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has led the Somerton School District to pay $1,000 in back wages to an employee who needed to spend five weeks at home caring for her children whose school closed due to the coronavirus.

Managers at the Somerton School District #11 stated that while they were unfamiliar with the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the district would fully comply and pay the employee. As a result, the school district paid the employee for five weeks of leave, at two-thirds of her regular rate, as the law requires.

“The Wage and Hour Division continues to provide updated information on our website and through extensive outreach efforts to ensure that workers and employers have the information they need about the benefits and protections of this new law,” said Wage and Hour District Director Eric Murray in Phoenix, Arizona. “We appreciate the school district working with us to pay the worker once they learned of their obligations. We encourage employers and employees to call us for assistance and review our online tools to improve their understanding of the new requirements under the FFCRA.”

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. Please visit WHD’s “Quick Benefits Tips” for information about how much leave workers may qualify to use, and the wages employers must pay. The law enables employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, 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.

View More Press Releases by Wage and Hour Division [WHD], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]


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