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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

WHD News Release: [07/09/2013]
Contact Name: Sonia Melendez or Jason Surbey
Phone Number: (202) 693-4672 or x4668
Email:
melendez.sonia@dol.gov or Surbey.Jason@dol.gov
Release Number: 13-1274-NAT

US Department of Labor launches smartphone app contest

WASHINGTON — As part of the 75th anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division is challenging innovative minds to develop a smartphone application that will transform the way the public is able to use departmental enforcement data.  By providing consumers with information at their fingertips about which businesses have treated their workers fairly and lawfully, the creator of this application will help empower consumers to make informed choices about where to bring their business.

The DOL Fair Labor Data Challenge, which can be accessed at http://fairlabor.challenge.gov, calls for creating a smartphone app that integrates the department's publicly available enforcement data with consumer ratings websites, geo-positioning Web tools, and other relevant data sets, such as those available from state health boards.  The winning app is expected to be creative, innovative, easy to use, and will incorporate data from http://ogesdw.dol.gov/index.   

"The app we would like to see developed would work with existing social media and would allow consumers to see if an establishment that they want to frequent has been in compliance with federal labor laws," said Laura Fortman, principal deputy administrator of the Wage and Hour Division. "The app could also prove a useful tool for job seekers and for companies that are deciding which firms they may want to do business with.  It could also help individuals get in touch with the Labor Department if they have any questions.  As we mark 75 years of the job protections afforded by the FLSA, we are looking forward to using new technologies to encourage compliance with the law in the 21st century."

Submissions will be accepted through Oct. 11.  Judges will announce a winner on or about Nov. 2. The winner will receive a complimentary trip to Washington, D.C., for the award ceremony, where the developer will meet with high-ranking government officials and private-sector entrepreneurs.  For more information about the contest, visit Challenge.gov.

To facilitate this challenge, the Labor Department recently launched http://developer.dol.gov, a unique website that makes it easier for software developers to incorporate department data into online and mobile applications through published application program interfaces and software development kits.

The website and contests are part of the Department of Labor's ongoing efforts to increase transparency, participation and collaboration through the administration's Open Government Initiative. Visit http://www.dol.gov/open/ for more information.

Editor's note: This news release provides corrected Web links.