After recently launching a new campaign aimed at cracking down on wage and hour violations and educating employees about their rights, the Department of Labor officials now appear to be talking out of both sides of their mouths.
I say this because, around the same time DOL was making a splash with the campaign’s rollout, the agency’s Wage and Hour Division barely caused a ripple when it announced that it would stop issuing opinion letters. As you likely know, such letters are valuable assistance to pros like yourselves seeking guidance about specific aspects of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Doesn’t make much sense, does it? I don’t think so, and neither does James Coleman, partner with the national labor and employment firm Constangy, Brooks & Smith.
“When it comes to employees, DOL is bending over backwards to educate them as to their rights under the FLSA, but when it comes to employers, the DOL is no longer willing to even respond to their specific inquiries where they are attempting to seek additional guidance from the DOL as to their obligations under the FLSA,” Coleman notes. “Perhaps a general educational campaign directed at both employees and employers as to rights and obligations under the FLSA would have a better chance of ensuring a greater level of overall compliance.”
What do you think? Has DOL tied one hand behind your back in the fight for FLSA compliance?
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