A Sandy Springs company had to pay back wages to an employee who was denied paid sick leave despite receiving a healthcare professional’s instructions to self-quarantine because of COVID-19 concerns.

The U.S. Department of Labor said in a press release on Sept. 15 that Risk & Insurance Consultants Inc. of Glenridge Drive paid the employee $1,599 in back wages. The U.S. DOL’s Wage and Hour Division determined the company’s actions violated the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Act.

When told of its obligations under the law, Risk & Insurance Consultants paid the back wages, the release said.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The Wage and Hour Division encourages employers and employees to contact us to learn about their rights and responsibilities under this act. We offer many online tools to help employers avoid violations like those found in this investigation,” said Wage and Hour Regional Administrator Juan Coria in the release.

The Families First act gives tax credits to businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide them with paid leave for the employee’s health needs or to care for family members, the release said. Under the law employers can provide paid leave that will be reimbursed by tax credits. It also ensures that workers don’t have to choose between their paychecks and public health measures designed to combat the virus.

U.S. Department of Labor