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Covid-19 Unpaid Wages

Covid-19 Unpaid Wages

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Covid-19 Unpaid Wages

Some businesses have refused workers their rightful pay under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) — which was passed by Congress and signed by the president in March — was supposed to help workers manage the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The FFCRA requires certain small- and medium-sized businesses to pay a worker their regular salary for two weeks if they become infected with COVID-19. It also prohibits businesses from firing employees for taking leave. 

The paid leave program also includes an expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Eligible workers are allowed up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay if the worker needs to provide care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

The Labor Department issued guidelines on April 1 that outlines what employees are eligible and assists employers in calculating how much paid leave their employees should receive. However, the reality is that many employers aren’t paying those eligible for paid leave.

According to Public Integrity, hundreds of U.S. businesses have been cited for illegally denying paid leave to workers during the pandemic. 

Public Integrity obtained Labor Department records through a Freedom of Information Act request: it revealed that nearly 700 companies had violated the paid-leave provisions and owed back wages to hundreds of employees as of June 12. 

According to the records, the businesses owe $690,000 in total unpaid wages to 527 employees, most of them low-wage earners in the construction, hotel, and food industries. 

If yo were denied wages rightfully owed to you, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer to collect compensation for unpaid wages and additional damages.

At Morgan & Morgan, our wage and hour lawyers are experienced in fighting for full and fair compensation for our clients nationwide. In the last five years, we’ve handled more than 6,000 wage and hour lawsuits and recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients.

In times like these, you can count on us. Our attorneys are dedicated to fighting for employees, and we aggressively pursue these cases to get our clients the money they deserve. Because when you hire us, we think about you, but we also think about all those who count on you.

To find out if you have a case, contact an experienced lawyer today.

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Covid-19 Unpaid Wages FAQs

  • What rights do I have under the FFCRA?

    • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at your regular pay rate, when you are unable to work because you employee are quarantined and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis
    • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds your regular pay rate because you are unable to work due to a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine, or to care for a child (under 18 years) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or you are experiencing a substantially similar condition
    • Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds your pay rate when you, after employed for at least 30 calendar days, are unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19
  • How Do I Know If I Am Eligible for Paid Leave?

    The Department of Labor has an online tool to see if you are eligible for the program. 

    Most workers at companies and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees should qualify for paid leave, as long as they’ve been employed for at least 30 days. Most government employees should also qualify for paid leave. 

    Workers at companies with more than 500 employees are excluded from both leaves, and some companies with fewer than 50 employees can exempt themselves from providing the 12 weeks of child care leave.

  • I Work Part-time. Am I Eligible?

    Yes. A part-time employee is eligible for the number of hours of leave that the employee works on average over a two-week period.

  • How Long is the Paid Leave Program Available?

    The program is temporary. Because it is meant only as a response to the coronavirus, it is set to expire Dec. 31.

  • Can I Be Retaliated Against for Filing a Wage and Hour Lawsuit?

    No. It is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who file wage and hour lawsuits. This includes firing or demoting, reducing hours, assigning undesirable shifts, or cutting job duties. If you were retaliated against after filing a lawsuit for unpaid wages, you may be able to file a separate, individual lawsuit against your employer for the retaliation.

  • How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?

    At Morgan & Morgan, our lawyers work on a contingency fee. This means there are no upfront charges or hourly fees. You are only charged if we win a favorable settlement or award. In these cases, we will collect a percentage of the final verdict or settlement

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