DoL Started Attorney Referral System for FLSA Claims

February 7, 2011 ( - Beginning on December 13, 2010, when Fair Labor Standards Act or Family and Medical Leave Act complainants are informed that the Wage and Hour Division is declining to pursue their complaints, they will also be given a toll-free number to contact a newly created ABA-Approved Attorney Referral System.

The U.S. Department of Labor said the system advises complainants of the ABA-approved Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) providers in their area.  

In addition, when the Wage and Hour Division has conducted an investigation, the complainant will now be provided information about the Wage and Hour Division’s determination regarding violations at issue and back wages owed. This information will be given to the complainants in the same letter informing them that the Wage and Hour Division will not be pursuing further action, and will be very useful for attorneys who may take the case.   

The Wage and Hour Division says it has also developed a special process for complainants and representing attorneys to quickly obtain certain relevant case information and documents when available.   

According to the DoL, even though the Wage and Hour division has added 350 new investigators, it cannot remedy every one of the over 35,000 complaints it receives in a typical year.  

A statement from law firm Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP says due to the institution of this new system, there will likely be an increase in FLSA/FMLA litigation. “Now is a good time for employers to reevaluate compensation practices, to conduct wage and hour audits and to take other steps to ensure that they are in compliance,” the law firm said.  

More about the attorney referral system is here.