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Sick Leave

SC company denies sick leave, then fires employee. Now it must pay according to the Government.

A South Carolina company was punished for firing a sick employee, and had to pay him tens of thousands of dollars, the United States government said. The employee of Alupress LLC was unlawfully terminated by the Laurens manufacturing company, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday in a news release. The man was fired after he was denied sick leave for an illness that is recognized by the Family and Medical Leave Act, according to the news release. Because of the violation, Alupress was forced to pay the former employee $34,538, the government said. That total matches the amount the man lost in “wages, medical bills, and health insurance premiums incurred as a result of his unlawful termination,” according to the news release.

Without identifying the illness, the Department of Labor said the company denied the man something he was eligible to receive and disregarded federal requirements. Additionally, the company did not tell the man about consequences he could face, and did not have any of the documentation required by law, according to the news release. “Many Americans rely on the Family and Medical Leave Act for critically needed workplace flexibility precisely when they need it the most,” Wage and Hour Division District Director Jamie Benefiel said in a news release from her Columbia office. “The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to enforcing the law and educating employers to ensure employees are not prevented from exercising their FMLA rights.”

Whether a person or business believes in employees rights to be “protected” or a business’ rights to operate as they see fit, they both must operate under the established law. Most businesses are not created by people that know the law or maybe even know business; they start with a skill or an idea that manifested into an occupation. The laws that governs business and employee relations is so complicated that it takes trained and educated lawyers to understand. Goldfinch Winslow is blessed to be able to help both employees and businesses when these types of cases present themselves. Please feel free to call us should you ever have a need.

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