The Hour Division and Labor’s Wage Department is often responsible for enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act. The best remedy for wage violations is the order that the employer makes up the difference between the amounts paid to the employee and the amount they should have been paid according to the Labor Standards. Back pay is the difference referred to above. Under FLSA, back wages can be ordered in such cases.
The enforcement process is described below with other methods used by employees to recover overtime pay and unpaid wages.
Investigations and Complaints
The Wage and Hour Division (WGD) has to conduct investigations as part of the FLSA enforcement. The worker’s complaints initiate many investigations.
The Workers Complaints
Complaints made to the WHD are often confidential. The nature of your complaint and your name are never disclosed. The time when your identity needs to be revealed is the only exception to pursue an allegation.
Types of information needed to file complaints include:
• Your phone number and address
• Your name
• The company name where you are working or used to work
• The nature of work you were doing
• When and how you were paid
• The names of owners or managers
• The company location
Before revealing your information, be sure to consult an unpaid wages lawyer. Additional information may include personal records of hours worked, copies of pay stubs, or any information that concerns the employer’s pay practices. For filing a complaint, the employer must not terminate your job contract in any way.
Along with other complaints, there are certain types of industries and businesses selected by WHD for investigation. Sometimes, some businesses in an industry can be investigated and examined.
Here are some steps taken during the investigation.
• Examinations of records to determine what exemptions and laws apply to the business and their employees.
• A conference between the business representatives and the WHD representatives.
• A careful examination of the payroll and time records. Be sure to take the necessary photocopies of transcription for investigation.
• Private interviews will be conducted with employees. They will conduct these interviews to determine the payroll and time records to get detailed information about the nature of work done in the business.
• When WHD completes the fact-finding steps, the employer will be informed about their status in violating the statutes and how to correct those violations. The employer will also be asked to pay back any owed wages.
Back Wages Recovery
These are the methods provided by FLSA for recovering the overtime and unpaid wages.
- WHD may decide to supervise the back wages payment
- The Labor Secretary may decide to sue for the back pay for the employee and the equal amount of liquidated damages accompanied by court costs and attorney’s fees.
- A private suit can be filed by the employee against the employer.
Unpaid wages and back pay disputes can be very contentious. An experienced lawyer will arm you with the necessary knowledge concerning the enforcement mechanisms and your rights available in the statute.