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Featured White Paper:
HR’s Guide to Workers’ Comp

Workers' comp has been a workplace staple for a long time, but it can confound even the most seasoned employers and HR professionals.

Download this FREE White Paper to learn workers' comp basics, including a lexicon of helpful terms, a workers' comp checklist to help you manage the process, and information about your employees' role in workplace safety.

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WHD Additional
Additional HR Resources

Solis' 5 Top DOL Prorities
In this FREE HR Hero White Paper, Solis reveals the DOL's top priorities for 2010, including new wage & hour enforcement initiatives

Wage & Hour Desk Reference
The ultimate resource for
overtime, minimum wage, and more

Fix payroll problems now.
Wage & hour policy problems can't hide from this easy self-audit guide.

Discover policy pitfalls
Audit your workplace policies
before a plaintiff’s attorney does

50 Laws in 50 States
Compare side by side and see
exactly what employers need to do

Train Supervisors DVD
Turnkey training system explains
wage & hour and labor law

Wage and Hour Division of DOL

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is a very small agency with a very big impact on employers. Because it’s small, the WHD targets certain industries where it believes it can have the biggest impact.

Mastering HR Report: Overtime

Low-wage industries
For at least the past 10 years, the WHD has concentrated on “low-wage” industries such as agriculture, construction, health care, and garment manufacturing as well as the fast-food industry, retail establishments, and service industries.

The 2006 report shows that the agency conducted more than 11,000 investigations in these industries, resulting in back wages of more than $50 million. More than 50 percent of the investigations were in the restaurant, security guard, and health care industries. Employers in these industries have a higher chance of being selected for an investigation.

HR Guide to Employment Law: A practical compliance reference manual covering 14 topics, including overtime and FLSA requirements

White-collar exemptions
Now that the revised regulations governing the executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales exemptions from overtime have been in effect since August 2004, investigators are focusing some of their efforts on ensuring that employers are properly applying the tests.

In 2006, the WHD’s efforts resulted in 12,000 employees sharing more than $13 million in back wages. Most violations occurred because an employee didn’t have a “primary duty of the performance of office or nonmanual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers.”

Learn more about wage laws and correctly classifying workers in the Wage and Hour Compliance Manual

Child labor
Another high priority for the WHD is ensuring that minors are employed in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). During the past year, investigators determined that more than 3,700 minors were employed in violation of the FLSA, with more than 60 percent of them working outside the permitted hours.

Employing minors illegally can get very expensive. The WHD can assess a penalty of up to $11,000 per minor for violations; it assessed almost $3 million in penalties during the past year.

FMLA violations
Last year, the WHD received more than 2,100 complaints alleging violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and its investigations concluded that violations occurred in about half of those cases. The most common violations involved employers refusing to grant FMLA leave, illegally terminating employees who requested leave, and discriminating against employees who requested leave.