Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
Principal Deputy Administrator, Wage and Hour Division
Laura A. Fortman
Laura Fortman joined the U.S. Department of Labor as the Deputy Administrator for the Wage and Hour Division on June 3, 2013. Prior to this appointment, Fortman served as the Executive Director of the Frances Perkins Center (Newcastle, Maine), an organization dedicated to achieving social justice and the fair treatment of workers. Previously she spent almost eight years as the Commissioner of Labor for Maine, during which she cultivated an extensive background in labor issues, including minimum wage increases, overtime protections, child labor protections, and break time for nursing mothers. Fortman also facilitated conversations about the migrant worker in annual forums for employers, workers, community organizations, and state and federal agencies.
Fortman has made a career of protecting vulnerable workers, from her time as the Executive Director of the Maine Women’s Lobby and Maine Women’s Policy Center to her Chairing of the Joint Enforcement Task Force on Employee Misclassification. Her many leadership positions also include serving on the Board of Directors for the National Employment Law Project, Chair of the Governor of Maine’s Workforce Cabinet, and a member of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.
She has served on multiple research committees to provide studies commissioned by the state legislature, including a study of the benefits and costs for increasing access to family and medical leave and a study of poverty among working parents. Her long career in advocacy, legislation, and education has led to improvements in work-life quality and the empowerment of many workers.