Charlotte Area Transit System reinstates employee, pays back wages after violating Family and Medical Leave Act

CATS has received a proposal to redevelop the uptown Charlotte Transportation Center on Trade...
CATS has received a proposal to redevelop the uptown Charlotte Transportation Center on Trade Street. (Observer File Photo)
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 3:05 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) has reinstated and paid an employee thousands in back wages after an investigation found the agency in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

This comes after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), finding the Transit Management of Charlotte Inc. – operating as Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) – in violation of requirements of the FMLA.

Investigators determined the public transit agency wrongly assessed disciplinary “attendance points” against the employee for missed work time the employer should have recognized as FMLA-qualifying time off.

The investigation determined that CATS subsequently wrongfully fired the employee for excessive absences once enough points had accumulated.

To resolve the violation, CATS reinstated the worker, paid $21,998 in back wages for the time that the employee would have worked and restored the employee’s medical benefits.

“The Family and Medical Leave Act provides employees with critical workplace flexibility, protecting their jobs when they, or an eligible family member, need care for a serious health condition,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Richard Blaylock, in Raleigh, North Carolina. “The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to protecting employees’ FMLA rights, and to helping employers understand their responsibilities. We encourage all employers to reach out to us with questions, and to use the many resources we offer to avoid violations like those found in this case.”

For more information about the FMLA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at

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