Employer name: Hidalgo County
Investigation site: Hidalgo County Head Start Program
1901 W. State Hwy 107
Edinburg, TX 78504
Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found Hidalgo County failed to pay full incentive bonuses to workers in its Head Start program due to the workers taking leave protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Investigators learned the county paid the affected workers a prorated bonus amount despite being eligible and meeting criteria for full bonuses. At the same time, the county awarded other employees – who used other types of leave – full incentive bonuses. By law, employers must pay bonuses that are consistent for employees with FMLA and non-FMLA absences.
Back wages recovered: $30,241 in back wages to 31 workers
Quote: “Our investigation found Hidalgo County failed to meet the Family and Medical Leave Act requirements by denying full benefits to employees who used legally protected leave. Federal law protects workers from having to choose between losing their income and protecting their health or that of a family member,” said Wage Hour District Director Cynthia Cantu-Flores in McAllen, Texas.