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Wage and Hour Division
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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

2004 Statistics Fact Sheet

Wage and Hour Maintains High Enforcement Levels in Fiscal Year 2004

The Employment Standards Administration’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recovered more than $196 million in back wages in fiscal year 2004.  Back wage collections have increased steadily since fiscal year 2001, with record breaking amounts collected in fiscal year 2003.[1] The number of workers receiving back wages has increased by over 33 percent since fiscal year 2001.  The average number of cases concluded by WHD investigators in each fiscal year has shown a steady increase from just over 40 cases concluded per investigator in 2001 to 46 in 2004, as WHD increased its enforcement productivity.  WHD investigators have also significantly decreased the number of days it takes to conclude a complaint case.  The agency concluded some 37,842 compliance actions in fiscal year 2004.  WHD assessed nearly $9 million in civil money penalties this past fiscal year – a slight decrease from the nearly $10 million assessed in 2003.

WHD Enforcement Statistics – All Acts

FY2001

FY2002

FY2003

FY2004

Change

(01-04)

 

 

Concluded Cases

38,051

40,264

39,425

37,842

(.5%)

 

Back Wages Collected

$131,954,657

$175,640,492

$212,537,554

$196,664,146

49.0%

 

Employees Receiving Back Wages

216,647

263,593

342,358

288,296

33.1%

 

Complaints Registered

29,085

31,413

31,123

31,786

9.3%

 

Enforcement Hours

998,937

1,070,600

1,032,879

1,000,739

.18%

 

Average Days to Resolve Complaint

139

129

108

92

(34.0%)

Over 265,000 Employees Received Back Wages as a Result of WHD Investigations in Fair Labor Standards Act Cases.

In fiscal year 2004, more than 265,000 employees received back wages as a result of WHD investigations in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) cases.  WHD collected more than $165 million in back wages for violations in FLSA cases, a 48 percent increase over the $111 million collected in fiscal year 2001, although slightly less than in 2003.  FLSA cases represent around 83 percent of all cases handled by the agency in a fiscal year.  In fiscal year 2004, back wages for overtime violations represented roughly 92 percent of all FLSA back wages collected, and the number of employees due overtime back wages represented about 89 percent of all employees due FLSA back wages.  This fiscal year, about 71 percent of the FLSA cases had monetary violations, compared to the 69, 70 and 66 percent of monetary violation cases in fiscal years 2003, 2002 and 2001, respectively.  In fiscal year 2004, WHD assessed employers $3,500,388 in FLSA civil money penalties, an increase of 9 percent over fiscal year 2003.

FLSA Registered Case Enforcement Statistics[2]

FY2001

FY2002

FY20031

FY 2004

Change

(01-04)

Concluded FLSA Cases

31,772

33,154

32,591

31,448

(1.0%)

FLSA Cases with Monetary Violations

21,001

23,111

22,641

22,300

6.2%

Back Wages Collected for FLSA Cases

$111,102,883

$142,979,826

$182,119,413

$165,385,781

48.8%

Employees Receiving Back Wages

195,257

241,568

314,660

265,772

36.1%

Back Wages Collected for Workers in Low-Wage Industries Increased 33 Percent over the Last Four Years

WHD continues to pursue compliance in low-wage industries, those with vulnerable, often immigrant workers, and those industries with a history of chronic violations.  In fiscal year 2004, the agency collected more than $43 million in back wages for 84,897 workers in selected low-wage industries – an increase of over 22 percent of low-wage workers receiving back wages since fiscal year 2001.  Over a third of WHD enforcement resources are attributed to investigations in nine selected low-wage industries, which include day care, restaurants, janitorial services and temporary help.  The increase in back wages collected and the number of low-wage workers receiving back wages reflects WHD’s continued commitment to ensuring that low-wage workers’ rights and wages are protected.

Low-Wage Industries Statistics

Cases

Back Wages

Employees

Agriculture

1,633

$1,194,589

3,700

Day Care

751

$936,211

3,323

Restaurants

5,040

$11,304,915

24,335

Garment Manufacturing

505

$4,770,554

6,722

Guard Services

683

$5,316,776

8,753

Health Care

1,947

$10,925,095

20,531

Hotels and Motels

1,045

$2,383,884

6,817

Janitorial Services

549

$2,999,578

4,700

Temporary Help

472

$3,310,309

6,016

Total Selected Low-Wage Industries

12,625

$43,141,911

84,897

 

Low-Wage Industries Statistics[3]

FY2001

FY2002

FY2003

FY2004

Change

(01-04)

Cases in Selected Low-Wage Industries

14,267

14,016

12,962

12,625

(11.5%)

Back Wages Collected

$32,470,183

$38,608,612

$39,595,382

$43,141,911

32.9%

Employees Receiving Back Wages

69,469

86,432

80,772

84,897

22.2%

Steady Decline in Minors Employed in Violation of Child Labor Laws

In fiscal year 2004, 41 percent fewer minors were found employed in violation of the FLSA child labor provisions than in fiscal year 2001.  Forty-seven (47) percent fewer minors were found illegally employed in hazardous occupations than in 2001.  The number of investigations in which child labor violations were found decreased by nearly 23 percent from fiscal year 2001, while the number of self-directed child labor investigations increased by nearly 7 percent in the same time period.  WHD assessed $4,191,809 in child labor civil money penalties in fiscal year 2004.

Child Labor Statistics

FY2001

FY2002

FY2003

FY2004

Change

(01-04)

Self-Directed Child Labor Cases

2,021

2,105

2,031

2,155

6.6%

Cases with Child Labor Violations

2,103

1,936

1,648

1,616

(23.2%)

Minors Employed in Violation

9,918

9,690

7,228

5,840

(41.1%)

Minor Per Case

4.7

5

4.4

3.6

(23.4%)

Cases with HO Violations

876

747

654

459

(47.6%)

Minors Employed in Violation of HOs

2,060

1,710

1,449

1,087

(47.2%)

Child Labor Enforcement Time

7.4%

6.3%

5.9%

5.8%

(21.6%)

Family and Medical Leave Act Enforcement Complaints Declined Slightly in 2004

The number of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) complaint investigations concluded dropped slightly in 2004 from fiscal year 2003, but were about 20 percent higher than in fiscal year 2001.  The number of violation cases increased by only 4 percent during the same time period from 2001 through 2004.  Violation cases as a percent of FMLA complaints decreased significantly from 52 percent in fiscal year 2001 to 45 percent in fiscal year 2004.  In fiscal year 2004, WHD collected just over $2.3 million in back wages for violations of FMLA.  Termination of employees seeking FMLA leave continues to be the primary reason that employees filed a complaint.



FMLA Enforcement Statistics

FY2001

FY2002

FY2003

FY2004

Change (01-04)

Number of Complaints

2,790

3,501

3,565

3,350

20.1%

Nature of Complaint

 

 

 

 

 

  Refusal to Grant FMLA Leave

629

741

815

697

10.8%

  Refusal to Restore to Equivalent Position

360

400

370

369

2.5%

  Termination

1,123

1,503

1,567

1,473

31.2%

  Fail to Maintain Health Benefits

62

71

46

48

(22.6%)

  Discrimination

616

786

767

763

23.9%

Status of Compliance Action

 

 

 

 

 

No Violation Cases

1,343

1,766

1,911

1,848

37.6%

  Employer Not Covered

58

63

68

75

29.3%

  Employee Not Eligible

164

224

199

238

45.1%

  Complaint Not Valid

953

1,281

1,417

1,301

36.5%

  Other

168

198

227

234

39.3%

Violation Cases

1,447

1,735

1,654

1,502

3.8%

  Number of Employees Affected

1,627

2,077

1,867

1,742

7.1%

  Amount of Monetary Damages

$2,983,936

$3,731,929

$2,397,876

$2,311,781

(22.5%)


[1] FY2003 statistics include several multimillion dollar back wage cases, including one case in excess of $21 million,  that were concluded during FY2003.

[2] FLSA registered cases are investigations registered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (as opposed to the Davis-Bacon Act or the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act).  The violations, back wages and employees receiving back wages for this group of investigations are not limited to FLSA violations.  The reported violations may have occurred under any other statute that WHD enforces.

[3] Includes Agriculture, Day Care, Restaurants, Garment Manufacturing, Guard Services, Health Care, Hotels and Motels, Janitorial Services, Temporary Help.

2003 Statistics Fact Sheet
2002 Statistics Fact Sheet