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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

WHD News Release: [10/14/2010]
Contact Name: John M. Chavez
Phone Number: (617) 565-2075
Release Number: 10-1414-NEW

US Department of Labor and Puerto Rico Department of Labor sign partnership agreement

Partnership will foster joint outreach efforts, information sharing and investigations

GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources, Labor Standards Division, have entered into a partnership agreement aimed at ensuring compliance among employers in Puerto Rico with both federal and the commonwealth’s labor laws.

"Puerto Rico's workers deserve to be protected fully by the labor laws that are enforced by both the federal government and by the commonwealth," said José Vazquez, director of the Wage and Hour Division's Caribbean District Office in Guaynabo. "This agreement simply seeks to ensure that goal by formalizing cooperation and the exchange of information between the two agencies."

A key element of the partnership is the commitment to conduct joint investigations, when appropriate, of the regulated employer community in Puerto Rico. In order to leverage resources, investigators will be cross-trained about the laws and regulations enforced by both agencies. Besides providing compliance assistance to the business community, they also will work together to provide employers and employees with information and access to training resources that will help protect the wages, safety and health of today's workforce.

The Wage and Hour Division is responsible for administering and enforcing federal labor laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, worker protections provided in several temporary visa programs, as well as the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and the Service Contract Act. Puerto Rico's Labor Standards Division is responsible for administering and enforcing Puerto Rico's labor laws relating to minimum wage, overtime, student learners, child labor, workers with disabilities and equal pay.

For more information about the federal laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the division's national toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or the agency's district office in Guaynabo at 787-775-1925. Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/. Puerto Rico's Labor Standards Division office in San Juan can be reached at 787-754-5832.