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

Press release:

San Francisco Grocery Store to Pay Back Wages After Denying Paid Sick Leave to Worker Whose Childrenís School Closed Due to Coronavirus

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

Date: June 25, 2020

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA – After an investigation by  U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) found a South San Francisco chain grocery store location failed to provide paid sick leave benefits to an employee forced to stay at home to care for children whose school closed due to the coronavirus, the employer agreed to pay the required benefits.

The operators of the Grocery Outlet store – a chain of more than 300 locations nationwide – denied the employee’s request for leave covered under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA), and asked for additional documentation regarding the paid time off. The employer misunderstood the EPSLA provisions in the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and incorrectly believed it did not have to pay the first two of the 12 weeks requested.

After consultation with WHD, the employer paid the employee $826 in back wages and agreed to change its FFCRA leave request forms to comply with the law.

“We will continue to work with employers to bring them up to speed on paid sick leave and other provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” said Wage and Hour District Director Susana Blanco in San Jose, California. “We encourage employers and employees to call us for assistance and review our online tools to improve their understanding of the new labor standards during this difficult time.”

The FFCRA helps the U.S. combat and defeat the workplace effects of the coronavirus by giving tax credits to all 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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