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June 01, 2006
Tool Allows Workers to See if They Are Owed Back Wages

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has launched an online tool that allows employees to look up whether they are owed back wages as a result of a WHD investigation.

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The new back wage employee locator guides employees through a series of questions The new system queries a database that contains information about people who are due back wages and their employment history. Employees should be ready to enter information about their past or present employment, such as the name and location of their employer. Those due back wages will be provided restitution upon verification of their identity.

"Although the Wage and Hour Division locates most of the employees due back wages, we expect this effort to facilitate payment to many of those employees that we have been unable to find," says Alfred B. Robinson Jr., acting administrator of the Wage and Hour Division.

The back wage employee locator is accessible at www.dol-esa.gov/emploc.

Earlier this year, Public Citizen filed a lawsuit asking a judge to order the Department of Labor to release the names of thousands of workers who are owed back wages but whom the Department of Labor was unable to locate. Public Citizen dropped the lawsuit in May after the department agreed to release the names.

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