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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

WHD News Release: [11/19/2009]
Contact Name: Dolline Hatchett or Joseph De Wolk
Phone Number: (202) 693-4651 or x4681
Release Number: 09-1452-NAT

Statement by US Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on Wage and Hour Divisionís increased enforcement and outreach efforts

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement regarding the increased enforcement and outreach efforts of the department’s Wage and Hour Division:

"There is no excuse for employers who disregard federal labor standards – especially those that are designed to protect the most vulnerable in the workplace. The failure to comply with these basic labor standards means that workers are not receiving the money they have earned. It is both an economic issue and a fairness issue. America’s workers should rest assured that protecting worker rights is a top priority at the Department of Labor. To make good on that promise, I have hired an additional 250 new wage and hour investigators, a staff increase of more than one third, to ensure that we promptly respond to complaints and can undertake more targeted enforcement.

"In the past three months alone, the department has had several significant enforcement cases, including collecting nearly $2 million in back wages for more than 500 workers.

"In early 2010, the department will launch a national public awareness campaign titled "We Can Help" to inform workers about their rights. The department will work closely with advocacy groups and other stakeholders to ensure that the materials developed for the campaign reach the workers who need them. We will not rest until the law is followed by every employer, and each worker is treated and compensated fairly."