Lamar Ferrell Chevrolet Inc., a dealership operating as Superior Chevrolet in Decatur, Ga., paid an employee $7,880 after wrongly denying a paid leave request under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division announced Tuesday.
The denial violated the requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the department's statement said. That act and the emergency leave act were passed by Congress this spring to offer employees added protections during the pandemic. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act gives workers up to two weeks of leave at their regular pay, and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act offers an additional 10 weeks of leave at a reduced rate of pay.
The Superior Chevrolet employee, who was not named, had sought the leave to care for a child whose day care had closed because of the pandemic, the statement said. The employee took the time off despite the denial of the leave request.
"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," Wage and Hour Regional Administrator Juan Coria said in the statement.
A dealership spokesman told Automotive News that the business was contacted by the Department of Labor and subsequently paid the employee for the time off.
The employee from Superior Chevrolet, which is in suburban Atlanta, told Decaturish, a local news publication, that a follow-up from the Department of Labor found no other violations.
In the department's statement, Coria said, "These protections benefit workers and employers alike. We encourage employers with questions about their responsibilities to reach out to us for information."