Gao Report Criticizes DOL’s Enforcement of Wage and Hour Laws

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a new report titled “Fair Labor Standards Act: Better Use of Available Resources and Consistent Reporting Could Improve Compliance” during a House Education and Labor Committee hearing held July 15, 2008. The full committee hearing was titled "Is the Department of Labor Effectively Enforcing Our Wage and Hour Laws?" A GAO representative testified that the number of DOL’s enforcement actions decreased by more than a third, from about 47,000 in 1997 to less than 30,000 in 2007. GAO also reported that the extent to which DOL’s activities have improved compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is unknown because it “frequently changes both how it measures and how it reports on its performance.” GAO also released a related report titled “”Case Studies from Ongoing Work Show Examples in Which Wage and Hour Division Did Not Adequately Pursue Labor Violations.”


by Patricia Schaeffer, Vice President-Regulatory Affairs

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