Louisiana Crawfish Processor Pays $43K in Back Wages to 55 Workers

Two companies with the same owner failed to provide after some workers tested positive for COVID-19.

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MARKSVILLE, LA — After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Shirley’s Crawfish Pad LLC and Crawfish Processing LLC – both owned by Shirley Bernard and co-located in Marksville, Louisiana – have paid $42,900 in back wages to 55 employees to resolve violations of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

WHD investigators found that the employer failed to provide paid sick leave to five Shirley’s Crawfish Pad and 50 Crawfish Processing employees after some of the workers tested positive for the coronavirus, and a healthcare provider ordered those workers and their co-workers to quarantine. Additionally, investigators found the seafood processor failed to maintain records required by the FFCRA.

The jointly owned companies agreed to pay the back wages, keep required records and comply with all applicable federal laws in the future.

“The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is critical to ensuring the safety of workers and the public. It provides a way for employers to meet their responsibility to protect workers, including those employed in the nation’s food supply system, and to take all necessary measures to ensure they are not working while potentially infected with the coronavirus and putting their co-workers and customers at risk,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Troy Mouton, in New Orleans, Louisiana. “Employers and employees who have questions about their obligations and rights under the law should contact their nearest Wage and Hour Division office or review the Division’s coronavirus resources online for more information.”

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