Staples to Pay Fired Employee $275K in Wages, Damages

DOL alleges that Staples failed to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act.

As part of a settlement agreement reached with Staples Inc. and Staples Contract and Commercial Inc., Staples defendants have agreed to pay Jeffrey Angstadt $137,500 in lost wages and benefits, as well as an equal amount in liquidated damages, the U.S. Department of Labor reported.

This came after Angstadt was eligible for federal workplace protections for those coping with the illness of a family member and no one from Staples Contract and Commercial notified him as the law requires. Angstadt used his personal, sick, and vacation days to take care of his ill wife.

"When an employee must be away from work to care for a loved one, there are no second chances to get it right," said Wage and Hour Division Administrator Dr. David Weil. "For more than 20 years, the Family and Medical Leave Act has been a critical safety net for working families. It ensures that no one should have to choose between the job they need and the family they love."

As a part of the settlement, the company will also promote an enterprise-wide policy for compliance with the FMLA by providing training for human resources and other managerial personnel with respect to FMLA notice and eligibility requirements; post FMLA enforcement posters in workplaces; and investigate and respond to complaints of potential FMLA violations concerning an employee's notice of FMLA rights, including correcting violations when discovered.

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