Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
DALLAS -- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has launched an enforcement initiative in the Dallas/Fort Worth area focused on attention to devastation from recent tornadoes. As communities rebuild and recover, the division seeks to increase public awareness of federal wage and hour laws, strengthen compliance among employers engaged in these efforts, and encourage workers to understand and exercise their rights.
Investigations will be conducted to ensure that workers who are involved in rebuilding affected communities are paid in compliance with the provisions outlined under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“Many industries involved in rebuilding, such as roofing and residential construction, employ large populations of low-wage and vulnerable workers who are less likely to step forward and complain when subjected to wage violations.” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “The division is committed to ensuring that workers involved in rebuilding affected communities are paid their rightful wages in compliance with the law. This enforcement initiative also protects employers by ensuring that they are competing on a level playing field. Winning bids cannot depend on shortchanging employees.”
City officials in affected areas have made available to the Wage and Hour Division a list of employers and contractors who have been issued permits to engage in rebuilding activities. City officials also have agreed to assist in disseminating work hours calendar and other compliance assistance materials to employers and contractors. Additionally, division investigators are providing materials to employers and employees.
If violations are found, the Wage and Hour Division will vigorously pursue compliance with labor laws, including the collection and payment of back wages, the assessment of civil money penalties and liquidated damages, and litigation to ensure accountability and deter future violations.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 per week. Under the law, employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records. These requirements are not subject to waiver during natural disasters and recovery efforts. For more information, see Fact Sheet #72: Employment & Wages Under Federal Law During Natural Disasters & Recovery at http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs72English.htm.
For more information about federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its Dallas office at 817-861-2150. Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.