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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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DOL A to Z — Learn About the Labor Department


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Learn about the Labor Department, break through the jargon and the acronyms and explore our work. To learn more about words and phrase not listed below you can visit the A to Z Index.

  • A

    Apprenticeship: We're not just talking about bakers and candlestick makers. Modern apprentices earn good pay while training for high-skill, high-demand 21st-century jobs.

  • B

    Black Lung: This preventable disease is caused by prolonged exposure to coal mine dust, and has killed or contributed to the deaths of more than 75,000 miners since 1968. Our mission is to end black lung. Forever.

  • C

    COBRA: Helps workers and families keep their health insurance after a life event when that coverage would otherwise have been terminated.

  • D

    Davis-Bacon Act: This law ensures that federal contractors promote good jobs and fair wages. For workers on federally funded or assisted construction projects, it guarantees pay no less than the local prevailing wage for similar work in the area.

  • E

    ERISA: The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 protects workers, retirees and their families by setting standards for retirement, health and other employee benefit plans.

  • F

    FLSA: The Fair Labor Standards Act ensures minimum wage, overtime pay and child labor protections for more than 135 million workers across the United States.

  • G

    Gold Card: This resource offers post-9/11 era veterans enhanced employment services at our American Job Centers nationwide.

  • H

    H-Visas: Employers can use H-visas as a legal means of hiring temporary foreign workers with critical skills, while also protecting the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.

  • I

    ILO: The United States is a member of the International Labour Organization, a United Nations agency that promotes rights at work; quality employment; strong social protection programs; and productive dialogue among governments, employers and workers.

  • G

    Job Corps: Celebrating 50 years of success, Job Corps is the only residential education and training program in the nation, helping 2.7 million young people a year get the skills and credentials needed for a good job and bright future.

  • K

    K-Order: Following a serious mine incident, a "k-order" can be issued by federal mine safety officials allowing them to take necessary actions, including temporarily shutting down mines, to ensure the safety of all people at the mine.

  • L

    LM Forms: Required by the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, these forms provide transparency for workers and the public on the financial transactions and labor relations activities of unions, employers and consultants.