How Many Businesses Were Prosecuted by the DOL Last Month for Primary Violations?

Despite the many drastic developments that the U.S. has undergone in 2020, the Department of Labor remains vigilant in prosecuting and charging those convicted of primary violations. This episode covers the five cases filed last month.

Three unrelated employers in Florida and Minnesota have paid a combined $6,528 in back wages to three employees for violating the paid sick leave requirements of the newly-enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), according to the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). The agency also announced collecting $92,290 for 27 employees from an Idaho company that violated the Davis-Bacon Act, and a civil money penalty of $17,586 for a North Carolina McDonald’s franchise for violating the FLSA’s child labor requirements.

These are the cases:

  • Medley, Florida-based Martinez Truss Co. has paid an employee $4,352 in back wages for wrongly denying paid sick leave under the FFCRA. The employee had requested time off after their child’s school closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • After a WHD investigation, the County of Carver, Minnesota, has paid $1,136 in back wages for violating the FFCRA by wrongly denying a worker’s request for paid leave to care for her child when her daycare center closed during the pandemic.
  • The Boys & Girls Club of Palm Beach County, Florida has paid $1,040 in back wages to an employee after the wage and hour agency determined that the employer violated the FFCRA’s paid sick leave requirements. WHD found that the Boys & Girls Club of Palm Beach County wrongfully denied an employee’s request for emergency paid sick leave after the worker’s doctor-directed the employee to remain at home due to coronavirus-related concerns.
  • Federal contractor JM Concrete Inc., based in Idaho Falls, Idaho, has paid $92,290 in back wages to 27 employees for violating the Davis-Bacon Act’s prevailing wage requirements on a government project.
  • Mt. Airy Partners Inc., a Summerfield, North Carolina-based enterprise operating 12 McDonald’s restaurants in North Carolina, has paid a civil money penalty of $17,586 for violating the FLSA’s child labor requirements.

These incidents demonstrate that the DOL is attentive even to “smaller” cases involving amounts as little as $1000. Should your business be prosecuted, the legal costs involved are going to be significantly higher than the penalties, and the wasted time and morale impact on your employees will be huge.

Take the time to review your wage and hour policies, including overtime, minimum wage, prevailing wage, minor payments, employment of minors, required leaves, and considerations around the FFCRA.

About the author, Rhamy

Rhamy grew up watching and working with his mother and grandmother in the senior insurance market. This familiarity with the struggles faced by people trying to navigate the incredibly complicated and heavily regulated healthcare market led him to start Poplar Financial while working on his degree at the University of Memphis. After completing his MBA and Bachelors in Finance and Economics, Rhamy guided Poplar Financial through the disruptive opportunity that is the Affordable Care Act. Since then Poplar Financial has received numerous awards from major insurance carriers and has completed its fourth year in a row of doubling in size. Now his team focuses on the processes around human resources and specializes in providing companies with between 20 and 1000 employees with the payroll, benefits, and HR needs.

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