DOL Arms Employees With Tools to Combat FLSA Violations

The Department of Labor (DOL) is enlisting employees in its war against Wage and Hour violations and arming them with high-tech tools to help them identify when they have been a victim of one of these violations.

The DOL has been steadily increasing its efforts to inform employees about their rights.  Last year, the agency released the "We Can Help" Web site, which provides information about those rights and how employees can report violations.  The DOL also launched a toll-free hot line, (866) 4US-WAGE.

And just this week, the DOL announced its foray into mobile communications with the launch of its first smartphone application. The app, currently available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, allows users to track their regular work hours, breaks, and overtime.  

The intention is that employees can keep their own records instead of relying on their employers to accurately keep them. This information could prove to be valuable in a Wage and Hour investigation if the employer has insufficient records.

The app also provides easy access to a glossary, contact information, and information about wage laws via links to the department's Wage and Hour Division Web site.

The takeway point from the DOL's efforts is that employers that loosely comply with wage and hour laws can no longer assume that employees are not informed. The information is out there and is increasingly accessible to employees. You may want to make your clients aware of these developments and make sure they are well-versed in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) , particularly the overtime regulations it contains.

Debbie Fledderjohann is the President of Top Echelon Contracting, Inc.

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