DOL to Hire 100 Investigators, Signaling Potential Enforcement Increase
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced an initiative to add 100 investigators to its Wage and Hour Division (WHD)—a potential sign to employers that increased investigation and enforcement may be on the horizon.
In fiscal year 2021, the WHD collected $230 million in wages owed to 190,000 workers, according to the DOL.
The WHD is tasked with enforcing comprehensive labor laws that affect more than 148 million workers. This latest push for WHD investigators tracks with the White House’s larger agenda of 'strengthening' workers’ rights.
According to the DOL, the core enforcement obligations of WHD investigators include:
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
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