After a U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation, Neaton Rome Inc. – an automobile parts manufacturer based in Rome, Georgia – has reinstated and paid an employee $13,133 in lost wages as WHD found the employer terminated the employee in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

A WHD investigator found that the employer failed to provide the employee with required notification about whether her absence would qualify for leave after she requested time off for an FMLA-qualifying health condition and provided supporting documentation. After erroneously failing to designate the leave as FMLA-protected, Neaton Rome terminated the employee wrongfully after they assessed disciplinary attendance points for missed work.

Neaton Rome Inc. will reinstate the employee, pay her lost wages, and reinstate her health benefits dating back to the day they terminated her employment. In addition, the employer will grant 160 hours of vacation time that she would have earned on the date of her anniversary with the company, increase the employee’s hourly wage to reflect a raise she would have received on the anniversary, and remove disciplinary attendance points they erroneously assessed due to her FMLA-covered absence from work.

“Many Americans rely on the Family and Medical Leave Act for critically needed workplace flexibility precisely when they need it the most,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Eric Williams, in Atlanta, Georgia. “The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that employees’ rights under the FMLA are protected. We encourage employers to review the numerous tools and resources we provide to help them understand their rights and obligations under this law.”

For more information about the FMLA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd.

WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the Nation’s workforce. 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.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.