US Department of Labor to educate healthcare industry on wage laws to ensure essential workers receive earned wages, worker protections
CHICAGO ‒ Careworkers put in long hours tending to the vital needs of people in their homes and at health care facilities, yet they are among the nation’s lowest paid workers. Their jobs are made even more difficult when employers fail to pay them all their rightfully earned wages.
As part of U.S. Department of Labor efforts to build better jobs and increase pay equity, the department’s Wage and Hour Division regional office in Chicago will host a webinar on March 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. CDT titled, “Midwest Care Workers Summit 2022.”
The virtual summit brings together industry stakeholders from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin for an in-depth discussion about issues affecting federal labor law compliance within the health care industry in the Midwest.
“We want to hear directly from stakeholders in the healthcare industry about what the Wage and Hour Division can do to enhance their understanding of federal wages laws, provide resources and ensure essential healthcare workers are receiving the wages they are due,” said Wage and Hour Regional Administrator Michael Lazzeri in Chicago. “The healthcare industry has faced relentless challenges throughout the pandemic, and the Wage and Hour Division is committed to taking better take care of those who take care of us.”
Investigations by the Wage and Hour Division recovered more than $22.7 million for Midwest healthcare workers from 2019 to 2021 as a result of violations of worker protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Building on the progress made with the Essential Workers - Essential Protections Initiative, the Wage and Hour Division embarked on a series of steps to increase communication between healthcare employers and the federal agency. They conducted more than 70 listening sessions with over 500 stakeholders across 50 cities nationwide.
“The U.S. Department of Labor’s recently announced ‘Good Jobs Initiative’ focuses on connecting the dots between the needs of employers and workers. The disruption caused by the pandemic provides a unique opportunity to ensure full and fair employment opportunities and proper wages as the country goes back to work. We can improve conditions for women who dominate the healthcare industry, and the nation’s economic recovery can propel us toward greater equity,” Lazzeri added.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Calls can be received confidentially in over 200 languages.