Monday, February 20, 2012

2013 DOL Budget Q & A

Many leaders from the US Department of Labor held a Questions & Answers session on February 13th. Included in the panel was Nancy Leppink, Deputy Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division (WHD). Below are the questions and Ms. Leppink's responses.

Could you comment further on the WHD efforts that will be funded by the increases mentioned earlier? ($10 million to address misclassificaton of employees and $6 million for increased FLSA and FMLA enforcement)

Elizabeth, thanks for the question. About $6.4 million will used be to hire investigators to enforce FLSA (overtime and Section 14(c)) and FMLA, and about $3.8 million will be used to hire investigators for increasing enforcement related to misclassificaiton of employees and to educate employers and employees about their rights and responsibilities.

For Tricia Smith: What trends are becoming apparent with the issue of worker misclassification regarding DBRA noncompliance, and is there anything good to report?

Steven, thanks for your question! In 2011, the Wage and Hour Division collected nearly $18 million in back wages related to DBRA violations for more than 8,000 workers.

Will this proposed budget have any impact on DOL enforcement efforts with respect to "Hot Goods"? If so, what do you see as the impact? And, what industries will be affected the most?

JMH, thanks for your question. The Wage and Hour Division has indicated that it will use all tools available, including the FLSA hot goods provision, to ensure compliance among violators and to deter violations among other employers. The division will continue to focus on low-wage industries that employ vulnerable workers, including agriculture and garment.

How many more inspectors would the WHD budget increases support?

Hello, Elizabeth. The WHD budget increases would support the hiring of about 92 additional investigators.

For Wage & Hour: What does the 2013 budget mean for Wage & Hour investigations? Will there be any additional investigators hired to combat FLSA violations?

Hi, Michell. Elizabeth had a similar question at 2:11. Please scroll up and see our response to her.

With the DOL's new investigators, is there a percentage that would focus on misclassification vs FMLA violations or is this a dual effort?

We've requested $3.8 million and 35 full time employers for increased enforcement related specifically to misclassified workers.

Will DOL be working with IRS on misclassification cases?

Pat, thanks for the question. In 2011, DOL and IRS signed a memorandum of understanding to improve coordination on misclassification. Information is available on our website, discussing the MOU with the IRS and similar MOUs with individual states:

The majority of violations in wage and hour division falls between misclassification of employees, lack of payroll records keeping and overtime pay. what plan does this division has to minimize these problem areas- are planning outreach programs or training. would you be need private sector help in providing assitance in form of training, if so what provisions in budget would be use for such purpose

In response to the growing national problem of misclassification, WHD is employing a number of strategies including targeted enforcement and outreach to workers and employers. Additional information about our misclassification efforts is available online at

What commitment does the DOL have for the enforcement of Davis Bacon in 2013?

Hi, Tyra. Thanks for your question. The Wage and Hour Division will continue its emphasis on enforcing the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon program in 2013.

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