WHD Freedom of Information Act
WHD FOIA Information
- How to make a FOIA request
- Links to Commonly Requested Documents/Data/Information
- Other FOIA Resources
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows any person the right to request access to Wage and Hour Division records, data or information. Like all federal agencies in the Executive Branch, WHD is required to disclose records requested in writing by any person. However, WHD may withhold information pursuant to nine exemptions and three exclusions contained in the statute.
Documents on Website / WHD FOIA Reading Room: The entire WHD website is considered our FOIA reading room. The WHD posts a great deal of information on our website for ease of public access. Therefore, before making a FOIA request you may want to review the links on this webpage. Just go to Links to Commonly Requested Documents/Data/Information located in the red box to the right. You may find that the information you are interested in is already posted. Additionally, you may check the DOL library, in the electronic Department of Labor FOIA Reading Room. We encourage the public to explore WHD and DOL’s Web sites or use our search engine to see if the information you seek is already available to the public via the Web.
Making a FOIA Request: The Department of Labor and WHD does not require a special form in order to make a FOIA request. Your request must reasonably describe the records you seek. You do not have to give the record's name or title, but the more specific you are, the more likely it will be that the record you seek can be located. Requests must be in writing and be submitted by fax, courier service or postal mail. If using this method click on the WHD Regional Office FOIA contact for the fax, courier service or postal mail information. You may also submit your request via e-mail to email@example.com. Note, this is the only email address used for FOIA requests. If you use any other email address your request will not be considered properly received by the agency.
Requests for WHD Investigative Files: The WHD receives almost 3,000 FOIA requests annually, and most of these requests are for investigative files. The best way for us to locate these files is if you provide the detailed information. Additionally, since these files may be large, narrowing your request as follows may shorten the time it takes to process your request:
- Provide Case Identification numbers when possible
- Employer / business name
- Indicate your time range to 3 or fewer years.
- Indicate which program you are interested in such as FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act)
- Request the Compliance Action Report (WH-51) which summarizes actions WHD has taken, recommendations and conclusions.
- Request the Case Narrative which summarizes the facts of the case
Authorization to Release Personal Information: In order to protect your privacy, when you make a written request for information about yourself, you must provide either a notarized statement or a statement signed under penalty of perjury stating that you are the person you claim to be. You may fulfill this requirement by: (1) having your signature on your request letter witnessed by a notary, or (2) pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 1746 (2) including the following statement just before the signature on your request letter: "I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on [date]." If you request information about yourself and do not provide one of these statements, your request cannot be processed under the Privacy Act. This requirement helps to ensure that private information about you will not be disclosed to anyone else.
WHD Regional Fax, Courier, Postal Information: The investigative files are located in the WHD regions. Therefore, your request will receive the quickest possible response if it is addressed directly to the region that you believe has the records you are seeking. To obtain the regional information click on this link: WHD Regional Offices FOIA Contact.
WHD National Office Fax, Courier, Postal Information: The WHD National Office, which is also the WHD FOIA Service Center, processes almost all other requests for WHD documents that are not investigative files. To obtain other WHD documents click on this link to obtain the National Office contact information: WHD National Office FOIA Contact.
If you believe that WHD does maintain the records you are seeking but you do not know the division which has the records, you may submit a written FOIA request to:
Wage and Hour Division
U. S. Department of Labor
Attn: WHD FOIA Coordinator
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210
How to check the status of your WHD FOIA request:
FOIA Status Phone Number: 202-693-1004
FOIA Email: Status Inquiries Only WHD-FOIA@dol.gov;
Please include your name, contact information and the FOIA tracking number in your message.