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DOL Continues Long Island Wage and Hour Enforcement Initiative to Stop FLSA Violations

December 3, 2011

In a recent Newport Beach, California employment attorney blog, Howard Law partner Vince Howard discussed the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the department's continuing enforcement initiatives aimed to uncover major noncompliance with the wage and hour requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Violations of federal labor law continue to be a common problem in low wage industries across the country, when employers fail to comply with the minimum wage, overtime payment and record-keeping provisions of the FLSA.

The FLSA requires that employees covered by the act are compensated with at least $7.25, the federal minimum wage, and receive overtime compensation for each hour worked beyond forty hours in a workweek, that equals one and one-half times their normal payment rates. Employers are also required to maintain clear employment records of employees' hours, accurate wages, and all other conditions of employment. Employers, under the act, are prohibited from retaliating against employees who stand up for their labor and employment rights.

In a recent initiative, the DOL investigated 46 restaurants in Long Island, NY, and recovered over $2.3 million back wages for 578 workers, and assessed over $200,000 in civil money penalties against the employers for repeatedly and willfully violating the FLSA.

During wage and hour investigations, the DOL's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) reportedly carefully inspects payroll records, and interviews employees in order to assess whether the employers are complying with all labor standards and laws. The DOL also engages in other strategies, like closely monitoring employers who are suspected of committing FLSA violations, using penalty assessments to increase the cost of noncompliance with federal labor laws, and coordinating with local criminal enforcement authorities and agencies in order to fight repeated and willful FLSA violations, like falsifying tax filings and employment records.

The WHD is also reportedly engaging major representatives in the industry, including attorneys, accountants and associations in order to ask for industry feedback on federal enforcement strategies, and to ask for assistance and cooperation in order to ensure compliance among their clients. The WHD is also contacting workers, employers, community organizations and other stakeholders, in order to explain in detail the continuing initiative and to encourage a partnership in participation with the aim to promote wage and hour compliance throughout the industry.

When the WHD discovers violations of federal labor laws, the division uses all enforcement tools available--administrative subpoenas, litigation, civil money penalty assessments, as well as liquidated damages, in order to ensure employer accountability and to avoid future FLSA violations.

When employers violate federal labor laws, under the FLSA, they are responsible for paying employees back wages, as well as an equal monetary amount in liquidated damages.

In Carson, California, contact let our attorneys and professionals at Howard Law, PC help you with your California wage and hour issue today.

US Labor Department initiative on Long Island, NY, nets more than $2.3 million in back wages for 578 restaurant workers affected by labor law violations, U.S. Department of Labor Press Release, November 29, 2011

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Related Blog Posts:

DOL Recovers Over $2.3M in Wage and Hour Back Wages for 578 NY Restaurant Workers, California Employment Lawyer Blog, November 30, 2011

Tennessee Restaurants To Pay Overtime Back Wages for Willful and Repeated FLSA Violations, California Employment Lawyer Blog, November 11, 2011

DOL Forces Wok King Restaurant to Pay $531K in Wage and Hour Violations, California Employment Lawyers Blog, October 10, 2011

DOL Continues to Track Down Federal Wage and Hour Law Violations in the Workplace, California Employment Lawyers Blog, September 8, 2011

CA Wage and Hour Lawsuit Settlement--66 Japanese Employees to Receive $145K in Overtime Back Wages, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 22, 2011

Another DOL Investigation Brings Restaurant Employees $275K in Overtime Back Wages, California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 18, 2011

Taqueria Restaurant to Pay Workers Nearly $250K in Overtime Back Pay and Minimum Wages, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 15, 2011

NY Pizzerias Found in Violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, California Employment Lawyers Blog, April 23, 2011

Feds Crack Down on Wage and Hour Violations in NY Restaurants, California Employment Lawyers Blog, April 15, 2011

DOL Wage and Hour Division Audits for Low Wage Industry Violations, California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 20, 2010

New Study Reveals More Abuse of Low-wage Workers in Los Angeles, California Employment Lawyers Blog, January 11, 2010