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September 19, 2008    DOL Home > ESA > WHD > Highlights   

Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

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Wage and Hour Division - To promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation's workforce.

Wage and Hour Highlights

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Links to WHD Highlights from Previous Years:


August 22, 2008

The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that primarily updates obsolete regulations to reflect statutory amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Portal-to-Portal Act enacted since the rules were originally issued. Additional revisions would align the regulations with current court interpretations of the law and provide clarifying guidance to the regulated community. Interested parties are invited to submit their public comments by September 26, 2008 (extended from September 11, 2008), according to the instructions in the NPRM. Fact Sheet.

July 22, 2008

Effective July 24, 2008, the federal minimum wage for covered non-exempt employees will rise from $5.85 to $6.55 per hour. This is the second of three increases provided for by the enactment of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. A third minimum wage increase to $7.25 per hour becomes effective on July 24, 2009. Many states have minimum wage laws with provisions that differ from the federal law. When an employer is subject to both the federal and state wage laws, the employer must comply with the provisions of each law.

May 22, 2008

On May 21, President Bush signed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). Among other things, GINA amends the Fair Labor Standards Act by increasing the civil money penalties that may be imposed for child labor violations resulting in death or serious injury. The legislation raised the maximum penalty to $50,000 for each violation resulting in the death of or serious injury to working youth. In cases where the employer's violation is repeated or willful, the maximum penalty was raised to $100,000.

February 11, 2008

The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments by 12:00 midnight, April 11, 2008. The Federal Register Notice, instructions for submitting comments and related documents are available at Wage and Hour's FMLA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking website.

January 28, 2008

On January 28, 2008, President Bush signed into law H.R. 4986, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 (NDAA). Among other things, section 585 of the NDAA amends the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) to permit a “spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin” to take up to 26 workweeks of leave to care for a “member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness.” Additional information and a copy of Title I of the FMLA, as amended, are available on the website.


December 27, 2007

In a record-breaking year, WHD collected more than $220 million in back wages for over 341,000 employees in fiscal year 2007. Back wage collections exceeded the record levels collected in fiscal year 2003 by 3.8 percent. The agency concluded 30,467 compliance actions and assessed over $10.3 million in civil money penalties. 2007 Statistics

October 31, 2007

The Wage and Hour Division will host the Prevailing Wage Conference 2008 on January 8-10 in New Orleans , Louisiana . The conference will address issues associated with the administration and enforcement of the Davis-Bacon Act, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act, and Fair Labor Standards Act. If you are interested in attending, please email your name, title, organization, email address, and telephone number to There is no fee for attending this conference, but space is limited. Upon receipt of this information, we will advise you whether your request can be accommodated.

July 3, 2007

A revised Federal minimum wage poster, reflecting the recently enacted minimum wage increases, is now available for viewing, downloading, and posting. Every employer of employees subject to the Fair Labor Standard Act’s minimum wage provisions must post, and keep posted, a notice explaining the Act in a conspicuous place in all of their establishments so as to permit employees to readily read it. Additional posters and compliance assistance materials will be available in the coming weeks.

June 27, 2007

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division published a Report on the comments received in response to the Request for Information on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The Federal Register Notices and related documents are also available on Wage and Hour’s website.

June 14, 2007

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the cancellation of Industry Committee No. 27, which was convened on May 10, 2007 and was scheduled to meet later this month. The Committee was discharged following enactment of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act of 2007, which amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and removes the Labor Department’s authority to convene American Samoa Industry Committees.

June 1, 2007

On May 25, President Bush signed a spending bill that, among other things, amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to increase the federal minimum wage in three steps: to $5.85 per hour effective July 24, 2007 ; to $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008 ; and to $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009 . A separate provision of the bill brings about phased increases to the minimum wage in the CNMI and American Samoa, with the goal of bringing the minimum wage in those locations up to the general federal minimum wage over several years. Additional materials will be available at this site in the coming weeks.

May 22, 2007

Effective June 1, 2007 a new health and welfare fringe benefit rate will be implemented on all Service Contract Act Wage Determinations. The Wage and Hour Division has issued an All Agency Memorandum (HTML, PDF) announcing this update.

May 8, 2007

The Overtime Calculator elaws Advisor is an Internet-based, interactive learning tool designed to assist workers and small businesses in understanding overtime principles by calculating overtime payment for a sample pay period using certain primary pay and additional pay methods. The Overtime Calculator is a practical learning tool that provides examples of how overtime should be computed under some-but not all-scenarios. It will calculate overtime for a sample pay period, based on information submitted by the users, and will not replace actual payroll computations. Press Release.

April 17, 2007

The Wage and Hour Division published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to update the youth employment regulations for the 21st Century. The current proposals strengthen youth employment regulations to protect against workplace hazards, expand youth workplace opportunities that have been judged safe and permissible, update regulations to better reflect the modern workplace, and address recommendations from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to the hazardous occupations orders. Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments for both the NPRM and ANPRM on or before July 16, 2007 . The Federal Register Notices, instructions and related documents are available at Wage and Hour’s Youth Employment Comments Website.

April 04, 2007

The Wage and Hour Division will sponsor a series of free H-1B information seminars across the country. These seminars will assist H-1B employers and others in understanding and complying with the H-1B program requirements, application procedures, and worker protections. Detailed information on these outreach events is available on Wage and Hour’s H-1B outreach event webpage.


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