NEWFIELD, NJ – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Buster Petronglo & Son Farm LLC – a Gloucester County, New Jersey, agricultural employer – has paid $1,377 in back wages for wrongly denying paid sick leave to an employee in quarantine after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Buster Petronglo & Son Farm LLC violated the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) by denying up to two weeks of paid sick leave at the employee’s full rate, which the worker was legally eligible for under the FFCRA.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act qualifies employees for paid sick time to care for themselves and their families due to coronavirus-related reasons,” said Wage and Hour District Director Charlene Rachor, in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. “Employers must take all the steps necessary to comply with the FFCRA and should review their obligations under this new law to avoid similar violations.”

WHD encourages employers and employees to contact them for assistance to better understand the requirements under the FFCRA and use its educational online tools to avoid violations. WHD offers updated information on its 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.

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 to provide employees with paid leave for reasons related to the coronavirus. Please visit WHD’s “Quick Benefits Tips” for information about how much leave workers may qualify to use, and the amounts 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. 

WHD provides additional information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to the coronavirus and its effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and on job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.

For more information about the laws enforced by WHD, call 866-4US-WAGE, or visit www.dol.gov/agencies/whd.

For further information about the coronavirus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

 

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