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February 10, 2005
Bush Proposes More for Enforcing Wage & Hour Rules

President Bush is proposing an increase to the Department of Labor's budget for enforcement of wage and hour regulations from $195.5 million in 2005 to $198.4 million in 2006.

The DOL's Wage and Hour Division is responsible for enforcement of a wide range of laws which collectively cover virtually all private and state and local government employment.

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The Wage and Hour Division ensures compliance with the minimum wage, overtime, child labor, and other employment standards under the Fair Labor Standards Act, Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, certain provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Immigration Nursing Relief Act, the wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The budget request includes funding for 1,346 full-time equivalent workers at the Wage and Hour Division.

The budget request also said the division will continue to review and update regulation to "support the department's goal of ensuring a competitive workplace by promoting family-friendly job flexibility and minimizing unnecessary regulatory burdens."

The Bush proposal also calls on Congress to increase the civil penalties for child labor law violations that result in the death or serious injury of a youth from $11,000 to $50,000.

The budget request also proposes that civil penalties for repeat and willful violations rise to $100,000.

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