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DeLauro Statement on the Administration’s Denial of Congressionally Mandated COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick and Paid Family Medical Leave

August 11, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) released the following statement on the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Inspector General (OIG) report detailing the administration’s denial of paid sick and paid family leave to workers granted this protection in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act:

“The workers on the frontlines of this pandemic, showing up day after day to keep this country running, must be protected and are entitled to a safe work environment. Long before the spread of this pandemic, I have been fighting to ensure workers do not have to choose between a paycheck and keeping themselves and their families healthy. But this administration has shown yet again that working families are the least of their priorities.

“Paid sick and paid family medical leave is a major pillar in the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act and a critical aspect of our nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. By expanding the Congressionally determined definition of ‘health care provider,’ the Department of Labor is excluding millions of workers from the bipartisan protections determined by Congress. Millions of health care providers are given a free pass to avoid offering enhanced paid leave to workers should they get sick during this pandemic.

“Additionally, the DOL OIG found that the Agency has not been completing enough investigations of companies to enforce the paid sick leave provisions and has no existing plan to use the $2.5 million from the CARES Act to enforce worker protection laws and regulations.

“The findings in this government watchdog report serve as yet another example of this administration’s fumbled response to this crisis and continued sacrificing of working families. It is the federal government’s duty to protect workers. These DOL practices must be reevaluated and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act must be implemented as passed by Congress and signed into law.”