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December 14, 2010

“Access to Justice” Gives Employees New Avenue to Sue Employers

Here’s some interesting news: If the Department of Labor is too overloaded to handle your employee’s FLSA or FMLA complaint, a new federal program will help that worker get in touch with a lawyer who can pursue the matter.

The collaboration between the Department of Labor and the American Bar Association is the product of President Obama’s Middle Class Task Force.

A recent press release from the White House reads:

“The Department of Labor and the American Bar Association (ABA) (have) announced a collaboration to help workers resolve complaints received by DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (for) not getting paid the minimum wage or not being paid overtime, or being denied family medical leave.

“Beginning on December 13, 2010, complainants whose cases cannot be resolved by DOL because of limited capacity will be given a toll-free number to a newly created system where they are connected to an ABA-approved attorney referral provider if there are participating attorneys in their area.

“In addition, if DOL has conducted an investigation, the complainant will be given information about the findings to provide to an attorney who may take the case, including the violations at issue and any back wages owed.

“DOL has also developed a special process for complainants and representing attorneys to obtain relevant case information and documents when available.”

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