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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Delivers Record $322 Million in Recovered Wages For Workers in Fiscal Year 2019

Department also sets new record for number of compliance assistance events

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recovered a record $322 million in wages owed to workers in Fiscal Year 2019. WHD also set a new record for compliance assistance events in FY 2019, holding more than 3,700 educational outreach events – including on-the-ground presentations and trainings – to help job creators understand their responsibilities under the law.

“Through rigorous enforcement and robust compliance assistance, the U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that workers receive the wages they have earned,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “These record-breaking numbers top the Department’s totals from last year, which also set records, and confirm our ongoing commitment to strong enforcement and to providing employers with the tools they need to comply with the law.”

“We are delivering a level playing field for employers and employees alike,” said Wage and Hour Division Administrator Cheryl Stanton. “We are delivering more back wages for workers than ever before, and we are steadfastly eliminating any unfair economic advantage employers may try to gain by skirting the rules. We are protecting those who do the right thing, pay their employees what they have legally earned, and operate in compliance.”

WHD is constantly improving and expanding a data-driven approach coupled with stakeholder engagement allows the Agency to identify accurately the industries and sectors in which to focus resources most efficiently. A new Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics launched this month will ensure WHD uses the most cutting-edge tools and data sources available to guide decision making and secure the largest possible impact.

Visit for additional information about WHD’s work. Employers and employees are encouraged to contact WHD at 866-4US-WAGE with any compliance questions or for further information.

The mission of WHD is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration-related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and the provision of goods and services.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Wage and Hour Division
October 28, 2019
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Media Contact: Edwin Nieves
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