May 19, 2022

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Anything but ordinary

DOL to add 100 wage and hour investigators

Table of Contents

Dive Quick:

  • The U.S. Office of Labor will add 100 investigators to guidance its Wage and Hour Division, the company announced earlier this month
  • Investigators will perform investigations to assure personnel are acquiring their comprehensive wages, advertise compliance by way of outreach and community schooling systems and assist in initiatives to struggle versus worker retaliation and the misclassification of staff as impartial contractors.
  • “Introducing 100 investigators to our group is an essential stage in the right direction,” Acting Wage and Hour Administrator Jessica Looman said in the agency’s launch. “We anticipate appreciably far more choosing action later in fiscal yr 2022.”

Dive Perception:

DOL’s choosing press for wage and hour investigators, alongside with its assure of “significantly much more employing” to occur, signals the agency’s intensifying concentrate on employers’ violations of wage and hour guidelines. 

The shift aligns with the Biden administration’s demonstrated interest in workers’ legal rights, which has taken condition in various strategies, such as the variety of former union formal Marty Walsh as Secretary of Labor and the issuance of an government buy very last April that demanded a least wage of $15 for every hour for federal contractors.  

Wage theft — the denial of an employee’s rightly-owed wages or rewards — has been a considerable labor violation for yrs. Widespread violations consist of failure to shell out additional time failure to abide by the neighborhood, point out or federal minimum wage legislation suggestion theft failure to make it possible for breaks and failure to allow unpaid, occupation-secured go away pursuing childbirth or for a health care affliction, as demanded by the Family and Clinical Depart Act.

According to an assessment of DOL knowledge by the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive assume tank, DOL’s Wage and Hour Division recovered $257.8 million in back wages for employees in fiscal yr 2020, $322.5 million in fiscal calendar year 2019, $304.9 in fiscal 12 months 2018 and $270.4 million in fiscal calendar year 2017. A lot more than 1 million employees gained recovered wages during this time period, with an typical of extra than $1,000 for every employee. 

Vital personnel and immigrant staff are specially vulnerable to wage theft. DOL’s analysis of lower-wage, higher-violation industries for 2021 demonstrates foodstuff providers, development and retail guide in circumstances. In December, the EPI unveiled a report demonstrating that migrant employees with H-1B visas operating as subcontractors at organizations like Disney, Google and FedEx had been underpaid by at minimum $95 million. HCL Systems, the India-primarily based staffing agency that positioned all those workers, made use of underpayment as a “aggressive method,” EPI alleged after reviewing the firm’s interior paperwork. 

The DOL is cracking down on employee misclassification, a technique some businesses flirted with in anticipation of the Occupational Protection and Overall health Administration’s nationwide vaccine mandate for companies (which the U.S. Supreme Courtroom has considering the fact that stayed). The agency known as a modern conclusion by a Virginia federal court docket requiring a professional medical staffing company to pay $7.2 million in again wages and damages to much more than 1,000 staff an “unequivocal concept” on misclassification.

HR professionals can support assure their office is not violating employees’ wage and hour legal rights by reviewing the pertinent legislation, together with the Good Labor Benchmarks Act and the Relatives and Health care Leave Act.