DoL Collects $166 Million in Back Wages in 2005

February 8, 2006 ( - The US Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) collected $166,005,014 in back wages for over 241,000 employees in fiscal year 2005.

According to the  fact sheet on the Department of Labor’s Web site, more than 219,000 employees received a total of $134.2 million in minimum wage and overtime back wages as a result of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations in fiscal year 2005.   This was comprised of nearly $119.4 million in back wages for FLSA overtime violations and more than $14.8 million for FLSA minimum wage violations, including nearly $14.7 million collected for approximately 11,000 employees as a result of violations of the new Overtime Security regulations.

In addition, the agency reported that back wages collected for workers in low-wage industries increased.   In fiscal year 2005, the agency collected nearly $45.8 million in back wages for 96,511 workers in low-wage industries – an increase of over 13% from fiscal year 2004.

In fiscal year 2005, WHD collected just over $1.8 million in back wages for violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  The number of violation cases declined by 10% from fiscal year 2004.  Termination of employees seeking FMLA leave continues to be the primary reason that employees filed a complaint, WHD said.

The data shows WHD has continued to reduce the number of days to conclude a complaint case over the years.   The average days used to resolve complaints was down to 85 for fiscal year 2005, dropping each year from 139 days in fiscal year 2001.

For 2006, WHD said it will undertake an investigation-based compliance survey of identified low-wage industries designed to measure FLSA compliance in those industries most likely to have minimum wage and overtime violations as a result of “off-the-clock” violations or Overtime Security violations.