Labor Department Confronts ‘Epidemic’ of Wage-and-Hour Violations

June 10th, 2013

Thomson Reuters News & Insight (06/07/2013) Carlyn Kolker

At a recent conference at New York University Law School, Patricia Smith, the U.S. Department of Labor’s solicitor, said the agency faces an “epidemic” of wage-and-hour law violations, with workers across the nation being denied minimum wage and overtime. Smith said the department has shifted from complaint-based investigations to directed investigations, in which the department reviews entire industries or geographical areas. Violations were found 79% of the time in complaint-based investigations and 71% of the time in directed investigations, which Smith said “really shows there are serious problems out there.” She added that the department is increasing its enterprise-wide enforcement efforts, which involve investigating systemic violations at multiple facilities, and is working with individual states on worker misclassification and other issues.

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