For those who thought the Trump DOL would back off the increased enforcement efforts of the Obama administration, last week’s news was not all good. The U.S. Department of Labor just announced that the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recovered a record $304 million in wages owed to workers in Fiscal Year 2018. WHD also set a new record for compliance assistance events in FY 2018, holding 3,643 outreach events – including on the ground presentations and trainings – targeted to educate employers about their legal responsibilities regarding payment of wages.
“Through vigorous enforcement and compliance assistance, the Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that workers receive the wages they have earned,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “These record-breaking numbers confirm the Department’s strong commitment to enforcing the law and providing employers with the tools they need to comply with the law.”
The DOL also announced a six-month extension of the voluntary Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program. The DOL describes the PAID program as a compliance initiative “that helps workers receive more back wages due in an expedited manner – without having to wait for lengthy investigations to conclude and court cases to resolve.” Essentially, businesses who through self audit find that they may not be in compliance with all legal requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, have the ability under the program to correct the problems, pay the back wages, and avoid significant penalties and liquidated damages.
More information about the PAID program can be found in my April 6, 2018 blog post (https://www.employmentlawbusinessguide.com/2018/04/are-businesses-ready-to-turn-themselves-into-the-dol/) and at www.dol.gov/whd/PAID.