DoL To Release 'Unlocatable' Workers Names

May 17, 2006 ( - The Department of Labor (DoL) decided to release the names of nearly one hundred thousand low-wage workers owed back pay from government settlements.

A Chicago-based workers’ rights organization filed a suit against the DoL in January, bringing claims that the department breached the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to make public the names of 95,000 workers owed $32 million in back pay whom the government has so far not been able to locate (See Worker Group Sues DoL Over Employee Names). The department cited privacy concerns as its basis for denial.

According to a news release by Public Citizen, an advocacy group that filed the suit on behalf of Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ), the suit has now been dropped after the department agreed to release the names.

“This information will help thousands of past, present, and future low-wage workers,” says Kim Bobo, executive director of IWJ, in the release. “Not only will it alert them of money that is rightfully theirs, but it could encourage more workers to report wage theft and other wage violations.”