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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 11-1057-DAL


July 25, 2011


Elizabeth Todd - Juan Rodriguez


972-850-4710 - 972-850-4709

US Labor Department hosts free informational forum in New Orleans

Wages, health benefits and job safety among topics

NEW ORLEANS -- Approximately 100 employers and representatives of advocacy groups and community-based organizations participated today in the U.S. Department of Labor’s informational and outreach forum to learn more about wages, health benefits, job safety, affirmative action and veterans’ re-employment rights. The free event took place at the University of New Orleans.

“The forum represents the Labor Department’s commitment to provide compliance assistance for the laws we enforce and other helpful information,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the department’s Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “We are hopeful that this outreach effort will increase awareness about employer responsibilities, and provide workers with knowledge of their rights and the department’s many resources.”

Several Labor Department agencies offered free workshops on the following topics:

- The Employee Benefits Security Administration assisted plan administrators with their fiduciary responsibilities under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 in administering health benefit plans.

- The Wage and Hour Division provided information on the Fair Labor Standards Act, with an emphasis on the employer-worker relationship as well as hours worked, minimum wage and overtime pay provisions, record-keeping regulations and child labor standards.

- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provided a step-by-step process for developing and implementing an effective safety and health program; a description of OSHA compliance assistance resources; an overview of the agency’s Site-Specific Targeting enforcement program; a description of how to navigate the OSHA website; and an overview of workers’ rights under whistleblower protection laws.

- The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs presented information on how to identify potential pitfalls and take corrective actions to help federal contractors stay compliant with regulations, and reach equal employment opportunity and affirmative action goals. OFCCP also offered fundamental “best practices” for contractors to avoid major technical and discrimination violations, including examples and scenarios from real cases, as well as instructions for investigating essential aspects of an EEO program.

- The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service described employer responsibilities under the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act, which guarantees re-employment for veterans, including reservists, guardsmen and returning active duty personnel.

- The Women’s Bureau provided information about its “Strengthening the Family,” and “Better Jobs! Better Earnings! Better Living!” initiatives. Designed especially for women, these initiatives promote financial literacy and stability, as well as increased earnings through training for and placement in skilled jobs.


U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at 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