Our Mission is Clear: “To promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce.”


WHD Delivers Record-Breaking Outreach in Fiscal Year 2020


18,500+ outreach events conducted in the past 5 years. 4,600+ outreach events conducted in 2020

Record-Breaking Outreach

For the third year in a row, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) conducted more outreach events nationwide than in any other year in our history—this year more than 4,600. Our commitment to ensuring that workers and employers have the information they needed is unparalleled, and became even more crucial as the workforce navigated the uncharted waters of COVID-19’s effect on the workplace. When the workforce needed information, WHD delivered.


Delivering Paid Sick Leave

As a pandemic unfolded, WHD implemented the brand new protections of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). More than 60 million Americans became eligible for paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave benefits never before available to the workforce.


WHD delivered guidance

WHD delivered immediate and ongoing guidance, evolving in response to workers’ and employers’ needs as the situation unfolded.

WHD delivered enforcement

WHD delivered swift, rigorous enforcement—concluding more than 2,600 investigations under this brand new law by the end of FY 2020, securing workers’ rights to paid leave.

WHD delivered outreach

WHD delivered unprecedented outreach—including on-the-ground efforts such as providing information at COVID-19 testing sites, food banks, and healthcare facilities, conducting more than 400 outreach events specific to FFCRA, and launching a public awareness campaign with PSAs generating over 70 million gross impressions among viewers and listeners across the country by the end of the fiscal year (FY), and totaling nearly 300 million gross impressions by December 2020.

WHD delivered peace of mind

WHD delivered peace of mind to workers who no longer had to choose between their paychecks and their families, or the public health measures needed to combat the virus.


Delivering Customer Service

When workers and employers wanted to speak directly with trained WHD professionals to discuss their questions, or access plain language information online, WHD delivered.


9,000 phone calls received per day, up from the average 2,000 per day

WHD Telephone Customer Service

  • Answered more than 400,000 calls in FY 2020
  • Answered up to 95% of those calls live in some time periods, thanks to the agency’s modernized virtual call center
6 Million+ website visitors in one week, up from the typical 500,000 weekly average

Website Views

  • WHD’s website saw more than 6 million visitors during just one week of our response.
  • More than 45 million views since the passage of FFCRA.

WHD adapted immediately to changing conditions and public health requirements, and continued, uninterrupted, to provide services successfully. We continued to advance our mission across all program areas throughout FY 2020.


1.3 Million+ workers helped by WHD in the past 5 years.  That's more than the entire populations of Las Vegas, NV, Orlando, FL, and Cincinnati, OH, COMBINED.

$1.4 Billion+ in back wages recovered by WHD in the last 5 years.


$706,000 on average was collected in back wages per day in FY 2020.

In fiscal year 2020, WHD collected an average of $706,000 in back wages for workers per day. That’s enough to feed more than 950 families for a month. Click here for more statistics about back wages collected for workers in low wage industries.

$1,120 on average was found for each employee due to back wages in WHD's FY 2020 investigations.

WHD investigations in fiscal year 2020 found, on average, $1,120 for each employee due back wages. For retail cashiers, that means more than three times what they would earn in a typical workweek. Imagine how challenging it would be if you weren’t compensated for three weeks of work. That’s the reality for many workers who don’t get paid what they have earned.

Click here for more details about back wages found for low wage workers.


What Does $1,120 Mean?

$1,120 represents multiple weekly paychecks to typical workers in many industries*

3.6 weekly paychecks for a maid; 2.6 weekly paychecks for a janitor; 2.3 for a security guard; 3.2 for a retail cashier; 2.2 for a landscaper

(*based upon BLS data for median wage rates and weekly hours per occupation)


What Does $1,120 Buy?



6+ Weeks of Food

at $168/week


3+ Weeks of Utilities

at $347/month


1 Month of Rent

at $1041/month

child care

7+ Weeks of Child Care

at $148/week

(Estimated costs based on Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019 Consumer Expenditures Survey – annual national level data.)


Detailed Views