The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor released an initiative with a focus on federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) compliance. The announcement of the initiative stated the division will ensure employers comply with federal labor laws using “vigorous enforcement.” More education and outreach will be implemented to increase compliance and reduce industry violations.
Beyond FMLA compliance, wage payment, workplace harassment and retaliation, and misclassification of employees as independent contractors will be highlighted focuses. Due to the growing strain on warehouse and logistics industries from the pandemic, the initiative aims to take protect the rights of workers specific to those industries. Under the initiative, workers will be paid the entirety of their legal earnings, including minimum and overtime. Workers will also not be prohibited from taking time off under the FMLA.
To ensure the effectiveness of the initiative, the Wage and Hour Division will identify worker advocacy groups and employers and employer organizations. As key stakeholders, these groups will promote and advocate for compliance with the initiative.
Unpaid, job-protected leave for family and medical reasons must be provided by employers to eligible employees. Organizations with 50 or more employees must comply with the law. For an employee to be eligible, they must have worked for the covered organization for a minimum of 12 months and at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the leave.
With the DOL’s effort to increase enforcement, employers are encouraged to review their FMLA policies and review compliance under the law. If you have questions, please contact your dedicated Creative Benefits, Inc. team member.