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Wichita Best Western Plus pays workers back wages after denying sick pay during COVID-19

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division said Best Western Plus in Wichita has paid $5,693 in back wages for wrongly denying paid sick leave to 13 employees required to quarantine after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Investigators found Best Western violated the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it denied the employees paid time away from work for which they were eligible. The employer has also agreed to future compliance with the FFCRA.

“The Families First Coronavirus Response Act qualifies employees for paid sick time to care for themselves and their families due to coronavirus-related reasons. This provision aids in limiting the spread of the coronavirus and protects employees and the public,” said Wage and Hour District Director Reed Trone, in Kansas City, Kansas. “Employers must take all the steps necessary to comply with the FFCRA and should review their obligations under this new law to avoid similar violations.”

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division encourages employers and employees to call the division directly for assistance to better understand the requirements under the FFCRA and use its educational online tools to avoid violations. WHD offers updated information on its website and through extensive outreach efforts to ensure that workers and employers have the information they need about the benefits and protections of this new law.

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