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February 03, 2006
Wage and Hour Enforcement Nets Much Less in 2005

The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has reported that it recovered more than $166 million in back wages in 2005, down from more than $196 million in 2004.

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The division collected nearly $119.4 million in back wages for overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and more than $14.8 million for FLSA minimum wage violations.

WHD collected nearly $14.7 million for approximately 11,000 employees as a result of violations of the new overtime rules (29 C.F.R. Part 541).

The division collected more than $21.4 million in back wages for 31,450 employees whose employers paid them paid straight-time for overtime hours worked and approximately $20.1 million for approximately 56,900 employees whose employers failed to pay them for all hours worked.

The agency collected nearly $45.8 million in back wages for 96,511 workers in low-wage industries, up from $43.1 million and 84,897 workers in 2004.

Meanwhile, the number of complaints of Family and Medical Leave Act violations declined from 3,350 in 2004 to 2,784 in 2005.

The agency says it will launch an initiative in 2006 to measure FLSA compliance in industries most likely to have minimum wage and overtime violations as a result of "off-the-clock" violations.

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