THE DIVISION: The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the United States Department of Labor is the federal office responsible for enforcing federal labor laws. This is an agency you want to be sure to remain in compliance with. According to the Department of Labor’s website, The Wage and Hour Division’s mission is “to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the Nation's workforce”. The WHD protects over 135-million workers in more than 7.3-million establishments throughout the United States and its territories.
Laws the WHD Enforces: Here are an example of just two important laws that you want to be aware of and remain in compliance with, in order to avoid wage and hour issues.
FLSA - The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): This is the federal law commonly known for minimum wage, overtime pay, child labor, record keeping, and special minimum wage standards applicable to most private and public employees. FLSA provides the agency with civil and criminal remedies, and also includes provisions for individual employees to file private lawsuits.
FMLA - The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): This entitles eligible employees to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. At the employee's or employer's option, certain kinds of paid leave may be substituted for unpaid leave. Employees are eligible if they have worked for a covered employer for at least one year, and for 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months, and if there are at least 50 employees within 75 miles. The employee may be required to provide advance leave notice and medical certification. For the duration of FMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee's health coverage under any group health plan. Upon return from FMLA leave, most employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms.
Make sure your company does not run afoul of this agency. Make sure your company’s polices are compliant, and the procedures are consistent.
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