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ICYMI: U.S. Department of Labor acts to help American workers and employers during the coronavirus pandemic

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor took a range of actions to aid American workers and employers as our nation combats the coronavirus pandemic.


WASHINGTON, DC  – Reopening America’s Economy:

  • U.S. Secretary of Labor Scalia Highlights Workforce Development At Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Tennessee – U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia traveled to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he visited the Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant. During his tour, Secretary Scalia learned about the Volkswagen Academy, which offers a combination of classroom and hands-on instruction for careers in the Volkswagen plant.

Keeping America’s Workplaces Safe and Healthy:

  • U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA Announces $3,148,452 In Coronavirus Violations – Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic through Nov. 12, 2020, OSHA has issued 232 citations arising from inspections for violations relating to coronavirus, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $3,148,452.
  • U.S. Department of Labor Updates Frequently Asked Questions To Address Cloth Face Coverings as Personal Protective Equipment – OSHA has published an update to its Frequently Asked Questions to address whether cloth face coverings are personal protective equipment.

Defending Workers’ Rights to Paid Leave and Wages Earned:

  • Suwannee, Georgia, Dunkin Pays Back Wages to Employee Wrongly Denied Paid Sick Leave after Coronavirus Diagnosis – After an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division, 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.
  • Gloucester County, New Jersey, Farm Pays Employee Back Wages For Wrongly Denying Paid Sick LeaveAfter Coronavirus Diagnosis – After an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division, 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.
  • Nevada Construction Company Pays Back Wages After Wrongly Denying Paid Sick Leave During Coronavirus Pandemic – After an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division, a construction company based in Las Vegas, Nevada will pay $3,270 in back wages after wrongly denying paid sick leave to an employee whose healthcare provider advised to self-quarantine following a potential coronavirus exposure, and failing to pay overtime.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Labor is focused on protecting the safety and health of American workers, assisting our state partners as they deliver traditional unemployment and expanded unemployment benefits, ensuring Americans know their rights to new paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave, providing guidance and assistance to employers, and carrying out the mission of the Department.

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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