Outsourcing Wage & Hour Enforcement: DOL to Refer "Overflow" Claims to Private Plaintiffs' Law Firms

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Each year, the Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division resolves more than 20,000 complaints from employees who claim they are not being paid minimum wage or proper overtime wages. Even with the additional manpower which has been added to the DOL this year, this federal agency still has been unable to pursue thousands of additional complaints over and above this 20,000 number.

In an effort to further assist the DOL, on November 19, 2010, Vice President Joe Biden announced that the DOL and the American Bar Association (ABA) are partnering together to help employees resolve the "overflow" complaints received by the DOL. Specifically, beginning in December 2010, current and former employees who have complaints the DOL does not have the time or resources to investigate will be provided with a toll-free number which will connect them with an ABA-approved attorney to help them pursue their claims against their current or former employer.

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