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US Dept. of Labor finds GM owes worker $12,000 after violating Family Medical Leave Act


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - A Fort Wayne worker received $12,265 in back wages after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation found General Motors wrongfully suspended the employee for missing work allowed by the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The investigation found that GM delayed approving the worker's FMLA leave, so management gave the employee disciplinary suspensions for missing work.

After the Department of Labor'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.”

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (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.

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, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.

Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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