McDonald's and Marriott franchises are among hundreds of businesses that have illegally denied paid sick leave during the pandemic, records show. Lucie Joseph started to feel sick on April 28 as she rang up customers at a Shell gas station in Delray Beach, Florida. Joseph said her boss wouldn't give her time off without a doctor's note. But the owner of the gas station, Sun Gas Marketing and Petroleum, didn't offer her health insurance, so she didn't go to the doctor. Joseph, a single mother with a 10-year-old son, kept working — seven more shifts over 10 days. Joseph's symptoms worsened, so she decided to get tested for COVID-19. On May 9, Joseph learned she had tested positive, and a nurse told her to quarantine. Over the next six weeks, Joseph tested positive twice more and texted the results to a manager. As instructed, she didn't return to work until she had two consecutive negative tests. On June 15, however, she was fired. "I was stunned," said Joseph, who showed the Center for Public Integrity images of the text messages with her employer and a document indicating she'd tested positive for COVID-19. Joseph, who earned $13 an hour, didn't realize she had a legal right to job protection. Lucie Joseph with her 7-year-old son. Joseph said she was fired at a gas station in South Florida when she took time off to recover from COVID-19.Courtesy Lucie Joseph Two months before she was fired, President Donald Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which requires certain small and medium-sized businesses to pay a worker's full salary for two weeks if they become infected with COVID-19 and prohibits businesses from firing employees for taking leave. But Joseph, who was eventually paid two weeks' wages, didn't know about the law until she consulted a lawyer. Many other workers are equally uninformed. Sun Gas owner Richard Vogel did not respond to requests for comment. Meanwhile, hundreds of U.S. businesses have been cited for illegally denying paid leave to workers during the pandemic, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. As of June 12, nearly 700 companies had violated the law's paid-leave provisions and owed back wages to hundreds of employees, according to Labor Department records. Violators include six McDonald's franchises and the franchise owners of a Comfort Suites, Courtyard by Marriott and Red Roof Inn.