The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) this month announced that its Wage and Hour Division is seeking to add 100 investigators to its team to support enforcement efforts including the protection of workers’ wages, migrant and seasonal workers, rights to family and medical leave, and prevailing wage requirements for workers on federal contracts. In fiscal year 2021, the Wage and Hour Division collected $230 million in wages owed to 190,000 workers.
The cornerstone of its enforcement team, investigators’ responsibilities include the following:
- Conducting investigations to determine if employers are paying workers and affording them their rights as the law requires.
- Helping ensure that law-abiding employers are not undercut by employers who violate the law.
- Promoting compliance through outreach and public education initiatives.
- Supporting efforts to combat worker retaliation and worker misclassification as independent contractors.
Common violations include failure to pay overtime, failure to keep time and payroll records, and failure to provide job-protected leave per the Family and Medical Leave Act. Employer errors can be expensive. A common resolution for wage violations is an order that the employer makes up the difference between what the employee was paid and the amount they should have been paid. Typically, a two-year statute of limitations applies to the recovery of back pay but in cases of willful violations, a three-year statute of limitations applies.
The DOL is committed to ensuring workers are paid properly and for all of the hours they work. In the past year, the DOL has updated its regulations regarding tipped employees, joint employers, and independent contractor status. Are you sure you are in compliance with your pay practices? You can be in a better position to address these complex compliance issues by working with a PEO. Learn more about what FrankCrum can do for you by clicking here.