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November 24, 2009

DOL Ramping Up for a Busy 2010

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis recently announced the hiring of an additional 250 wage and hour investigators, as well as plans for a new public awareness campaign on worker rights, expected to launch in 2010.

The hiring effort at the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) represents a staff increase of more than 30%, a move that will likely improve DOL’s top priority of protecting worker rights by allowing faster response to complaints of wage violations and more deliberate enforcement.  Solis’ message is clear: “Failure to comply with these basic labor standards means that workers are not receiving the money they have earned,” and the department “will not rest until the law is followed by every employer, and each worker is treated and compensated fairly.”

Historically, the WHD has announced impressive recovery efforts, claiming that more than $185 million in back wages were restored to workers in the 2008 fiscal year.

Solis also unveiled details of “We Can Help,” a program slated for early 2010 through which the department will work to inform workers of their labor rights.

Of course the best defense against run-ins with the Wage and Hour Division is to establish and follow legal, documented policies regarding payment of wages.  HRN’s HR Suite is an online human resource compliance solution that addresses wage and hour compliance and many other critical areas of human resource management.

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