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Office of the Solicitor
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The New York Regional Solicitor's Office

The regional offices provide trial litigation and general legal services to the Department, and aid regional officials in carrying out their responsibilities. The regional offices recommend and prosecute litigation at the administrative and District trial levels, prepare legal interpretations and opinions, and assist the United States Attorney in the prosecution of criminal cases.

The caseloads of the regional offices are developed through several channels. Most cases, such as Wage-Hour and OSHA cases, are referred directly to the field offices by the regional client agency. Others are submitted by the appropriate national office division after review in Washington. Most trial-level litigation activity is decentralized to the regions. In some instances, a case may be reviewed by the national division before it is filed in the field. Suits concerning systematic violations involving a national business chain are often consolidated into a single case and handled by one regional office with guidance from the national office.

The NY Regional Solicitor's Office, Region II, is responsible for civil trial litigation and legal support for the U.S. Department of Labor in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Major litigation areas are OSHA, Wage-Hour, ERISA, and OFCCP.

Mission and Function: The Regional Solicitor's Office has the primary responsibility for representing the Secretary of Labor in most civil trial litigation in U.S. District Courts and before administrative law judges. In addition, the Office provides more general legal services to aid regional Department officials in carrying out their responsibilities.

Statutes: The Regional Solicitor's Office provides litigation and legal services enforcing more than 180 labor statutes. The most common types of cases handled by the Office include the following:

Occupational Safety and Health: The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) sets forth standards intended to protect the safety and health of employees while working on the job. The Office provides legal support for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and litigates violations of this statute before administrative law judges.

Pensions and Health Care: The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) establishes standards of conduct for fiduciaries who have discretion and control over the assets or administration of employer pension or health care plans. The Office provides legal support for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, and litigates violations of this statute in U.S. District Court. Minimum.

Wage and Overtime: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) generally requires employers to pay certain employees the applicable minimum wage, as well as one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay for each hour over forty hours worked in a week. The Office provides legal support for the Wage and Hour Division, and litigates violations of this statute in U.S. District Court.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Executive Order 11246, the Rehabilitation Act and other statutes prohibit employers with government contracts from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, and status as a Vietnam veteran. The Office provides legal support for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and litigates violations of these laws before administrative law judges.

Federal Contract Labor: The Davis-Bacon Act and other statutes generally require certain employers with federal contracts to compensate their employees in accordance with wage determinations based upon comparable wages and fringe benefits prevailing in the area. The Office provides legal support for the Wage and Hour Division, and litigates violations of these statutes before administrative law judges.

Child Labor: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets forth certain standards relating to the working conditions of children and minors. The Office provides legal support for the Wage and Hour Division, and litigates violations of this statute before administrative law judges.

Migrant Workers: The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) establishes protections for such workers with respect to wages, housing, transportation and other working conditions. The Office provides legal support for the Wage and Hour Division, and litigates violations of this statute before administrative law judges.

Foreign Workers: The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and various related statutes regulate the use and working conditions of temporary nonimmigrant agricultural workers and other foreign workers coming into the United States. The Office provides legal support for the Wage and Hour Division, and litigates violations of these statutes before administrative law judges.

Whistleblowers: Various federal statutes contain protections for certain employees who report, or complain to, their employers about potential violations of federal statutes. The Office provides legal support for various Labor Department agencies, and litigates violations of these statutory protections in U.S. District Court or before administrative law judges.

Family and Medical Leave: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles employees to take reasonable leave for medical reasons, for the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for family members with serious medical conditions. The Office provides legal support for the Wage and Hour Division, and litigates violations of this statute in U.S. District Court.

Longshore and Harbor Workers: The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides workers compensation coverage to certain employees injured while on the navigable waters of the Unites States and certain shore side areas. The Office provides legal support to the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, and represents the interests of that agency in litigation before administrative law judges.

Veterans' Reemployment: The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects veterans, reservists, and other military personnel from discrimination in employment in the private sector. The Office provides legal support to the Veterans Employment and Training Services, and litigates violations of this statute in U.S. District Court.

Labor-Management Standards: The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) sets forth certain reporting, disclosure, election, and election standards relating to labor organizations. The Office provides legal support for the Office of Labor Management Standards, and represents that agency in litigation in U.S. District Court.

Mine Safety and Health: The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (MSHA) sets forth certain standards for safe and healthy working conditions in various types of mines. The Office provides legal support for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and litigates violations of this statute before administrative law judges.

Internal Labor Issues: The Office provides legal services to various agencies within the Department relating to internal labor issues raised by DOL employees where the employee believes that he/she has been discriminated against or has had an adverse action taken against him/her which the employee believes to be unfair.

Government Liability: The Office also provides legal services to the agencies with respect to claims made under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) and the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).

Organization:

The NY Regional Solicitor's Office is led by the Regional Solicitor. The Deputy Regional Solicitor assists the Regional Solicitor with administrative duties, manages the Office in the Regional Solicitor's absence, and supervises certain types of litigation.

The legal work is divided among four managers: Counsel for Employment Standards, Counsel for Safety and Health, Counsel for ERISA, and Counsel for Civil Rights. Each of these counsels assigns and manages the work in the respective program areas.

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