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OSHA and Wage and Hour Alert: President Obama Proposes DOL Budget that Will Greatly Increase Regulatory Power and Launch More Employer Investigations

On May 7th, President Obama released the details of his 2010 budget. The budget, overall worth about $3.4 trillion, contains billions of dollars for the Department of Labor (“DOL”) to spend on employer investigations focused on safety (Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “OSHA”) and wage and hour violations. These billions represent a substantial increase in DOL funding and the DOL is wasting no time in gearing up to launch new programs aimed at investigating employers.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has said that the DOL will use the enhanced budget to, among other things, “ensure that every worker is paid at least the minimum wage, those who work overtime are properly compensated, child labor laws are strictly enforced, and every worker is provided a safe and healthful environment.” The Wage and Hour Division has already begun adding new investigators to its field offices in an attempt to ramp up enforcement of federal wage and hour laws.

With increased oversight and investigations looming, now is the time to conduct an internal safety and wage and hour audit.

With more investigators looking into safety and wage and hour issues, the chances that your workplace could be targeted for investigation are increasing. DOL investigations that uncover violations, whether intentional or not, can result in fines, penalties, back wage assessments, federal lawsuits, and even private suits brought by plaintiffs’ attorneys. Identifying and resolving these issues before a DOL investigation will save you time and money in the long run.

If you have any questions about OSHA or FLSA compliance, conducting an internal audit, dealing with a DOL investigation, or any other employment-related issues, please contact any of the following attorneys of the Labor & Employment Team at Bingham McHale: Rusty Denton, Attorney or Andrew Gruber.

  • Partner

    Andy is the Chair of the Labor & Employment Practice Group. Working exclusively in the areas of labor and employment law, Andy provides advice, counsel and litigation defense to employers in all areas of employment law, including ...

  • Partner

    Rusty is a member of the firm's Partnership Board and a member of the Litigation Department. He handles a wide variety of employment and commercial litigation matters, representing clients in pre-dispute counseling and ...



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