After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Boston Coffee Inc. – the operator of a Suwanee, Georgia, Dunkin’ location – has paid $1,040 in back wages after wrongly denying emergency paid sick leave to an employee who self-quarantined after receiving a coronavirus diagnosis.
WHD investigators found Boston Coffee Inc. violated requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) by denying the paid sick leave. After WHD contacted the employer, they agreed to pay the back wages and comply with the FFCRA’s requirements in the future.
“The U.S. Department of Labor is protecting the American workforce during the coronavirus pandemic by ensuring employers comply with all of the requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Steven Salazar, in Atlanta, Georgia. “The Wage and Hour Division encourages employers to use the multiple tools we offer to gain a clear understanding of their responsibilities under this new law, and avoid violations.”
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 provide paid leave reimbursed by tax credits, 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.