Overview: Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations are enforced by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the US Department of Labor.
WHD focuses its enforcement efforts primarily on vulnerable workersand targeted industries such as agriculture and hospitality. But any employer can be subject to a visit from Uncle Sam, whether it's the result of an employee complaint, an industry-wide investigation or just plain old bad luck.
Audits usually involve an on-site visit, with interviews of employees and a review of all pertinent records. If the investigator concludes that an employer has violated the FLSA, the investigator will normally first attempt to secure a voluntary settlement in which the employer pays back wages and commits to comply with the FLSA going forward. If that doesn't pan out, the WHD may inform employees of the violation or initiate litigation.
Trends: Employers can expect the number of wage and hour audits to hold steady or even increase as the Obama administration continues to make FLSA enforcement a top priority.
Author: Michael Cardman, Legal Editor
Updated to reflect increased civil penalties for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, effective August 1, 2016.
Updated to reflect forthcoming FLSA overtime exemption requirements.
Use this workflow to determine whether a nonexempt employee's activity counts as hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
We highlight preventive actions that will decrease the likelihood of a US Department of Labor investigation or wage and hour lawsuit.
This How To details the steps a prudent employer should take when responding to an audit by the US Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division.
HR guidance on FLSA audits.