After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), General Motors Co. (GM) has paid $12,265 in back wages to an employee of its Fort Wayne, Indiana, assembly plant who received disciplinary suspensions for absences allowed by the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
WHD determined that GM’s delay in approving the qualified FMLA leave led to the employee’s improper disciplinary suspensions after the employee missed work. Following WHD’s investigation, GM agreed to pay back wages the employee would have earned during the suspensions, to rescind three unexcused absences from the employee’s record and to comply with the FMLA in the future.
“The Family Medical Leave Act entitles eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. Employers need to understand employee’s rights under this law and their obligation to provide qualifying leave,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Patricia Lewis, in Indianapolis, Indiana. “These violations can be avoided, and we encourage employers to contact us for confidential assistance to better understand their responsibilities under the law.”
For more information about the FMLA and other laws enforced by WHD, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers that discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.
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.