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November 30, 2004
Labor Department Collects Nearly $197M for Workers

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division is reporting that investigators collected a total of $196.7 million in back wages for 288,296 workers in fiscal year 2004, down from the $212.5 million it collected in fiscal year 2003.

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In 2002, the department collected $175 million for workers.

This year, the department collected $43 million for nearly 85,000 employees in industries such as garment, restaurant, and health care. In 2004, the number of minors found employed in hazardous occupations declined by 25 percent.

"Our attention to protecting the rights and wages of workers in low-wage industries has paid off for the most vulnerable workers in our country," says Assistant Secretary for Employment Standards Victoria A. Lipnic.

The Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces the minimum wage, overtime, and child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA); worker protections provided in several temporary visa programs; and the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) and the Service Contract Act (SCA).

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