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DOL Continues to Track Down Federal Wage and Hour Law Violations in the Workplace

September 8, 2011

As our Santa Ana, California employment lawyer blog has discussed recently, the U.S. Department of Labor is continuing to track down wage and hour law violations, especially in the health-care, construction and tourism industries.

According to Bloomberg News, Hilda Solis, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), announced recently that the DOL is standing behind a proposal that would require employers to give employees more information about payment, to help reduce the number of wage and hour violations in the workplace.

Solis claimed that the goal of the proposal is to promote more transparency in compensation, so people can better understand how their pay is being calculated. The proposal would reportedly require companies to give workers a report that clearly explains how their payment and hours are set up--aiming to ensure that employees are compensated for their overtime hours, which under federal law requires that covered workers receive a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, with overtime compensation of one and one-half their pay rate for any hours worked beyond forty in a week of work.

Under President Obama's administration, Labor Secretary Solis has embarked on a nationwide campaign to investigate workplace wage and hour violations, focusing on low-wage and vulnerable workers who are often unaware of their legal rights.

According to the DOL, every year the agency collects wages and unpaid overtime compensation for around 220,000 employees who have had their wage and hour rights violated. Last year around 6,800 wage and hour violation lawsuits were filed, which amounted to around 700 more than the year before--proving the department's focus on workplace labor violations. In 2010, employers reportedly paid $176 million in employee back wages and in the past five years, employers have paid around $925 million in overtime wages and back pay to 1.2 million workers.

The DOL reports that overtime payment is the largest wage and hour violation issue in the country, with thousands of employee complaints coming into the DOL annually. In 2009 the results of an employment study were presented by researchers at UCLA, revealing comprehensive financial discrimination among low-wage employees across the country--who were regularly paid less than minimum wage, denied overtime compensation, and not given access to workman's compensation among other employee benefits.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) also debuted a new smartphone technology, a wage and hour application aimed to help employees track their hours and wages in order to reduce the problem of wage theft and FLSA violations in the workplace. The application allows employees to post comments to their working hours, and then email the work summary to their supervisors--to prevent violations of federal wage and hour laws.

In cities throughout Orange County, California and Southern California, contact Howard Law, PC today.

Violations of Wage Laws Targeted in Crackdown, Solis Says, Bloomberg News, August 31, 2011

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Related Blog Posts:Related Blog Posts:

DOL Overtime Lawsuit Resolved--Kinder Morgan Will Pay $830K to Over 4,600 Employees, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 16, 2011

CA Drug Sales Reps Sue Novo Nordisk in Class Action Wage and Hour Lawsuit, California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 28, 2011

Another DOL Investigation Brings Restaurant Employees $275K in Overtime Back Wages , California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 18, 2011

DOL's Smartphone App Could Reduce Wage Theft, Overtime Disputes, California Employment Lawyers Blog, May 25, 2011

Kinder Morgan Sued for Federal Wage and Hour Law Violations, California Employment Lawyers Blog, February 10, 2011

Default Judgment of $800K Obtained in DOL Garment Manufacturing Case, California Employment Lawyers Blog, December 17, 2010

U.S. DOL Investigates Wage and Hour Practices in the Health Care Industry, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 16, 2010