U.S. Labor Department Sets Enforcement Records

November 01, 2019

In a sign of how aggressively the Trump administration is enforcing employment protections, both the Wage and Hour Division and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) racked up a record amount in fines from employers for pay and hiring discrimination claims and FLSA violations this year.

OFCCP hauled in more than $40 million in FY 2019, an increase of 150% over last year and a record amount for the agency, which oversees federal contractors.

A large number of settlements under OFCCP’s Early Resolution Procedure program drove the increase.  The program allows contractors to settle discrimination claims and escape an additional audit for five years at the facility in question, as long as the company ensures its other facilities are in compliance and provides OFCCP with company-wide reports.

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) collected a record $322 million in FY 2019, an increase of $18 million over 2018, which was also a record high.

WHD’s recently launched Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics is using data "to guide decision-making and secure the largest possible impact" for employees.

Takeaway:  Employers can expect aggressive enforcement to continue.  "These record-breaking numbers top the department's totals from last year, which also set records, and confirm our ongoing commitment to strong enforcement and to providing employers with the tools they need to comply with the law," Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said in a statement.