NLRB And DOL Team Up On Wage Complaints
January 10, 2022
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) and the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (DOL/WHD) have entered into a partnership to share information and engage in joint investigations and enforcement efforts to address worker’s complaints about wage and hour matters and retaliation.
The NLRB determines whether an employer has violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The DOL determines whether an employer has violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under this new agreement, if a NLRB charge relates to a wage and hour matter, the Board can share the allegations with the DOL, so that the DOL can also investigate, and vice versa. Each agency also promises to notify the employee if it believes the employee has the right to file a charge with the other agency.
The NLRB and the DOL are particularly concerned with partnering over issues such as “unlawful denial of minimum wages or overtime pay,  retaliation based on exercising rights guaranteed under the NLRA or laws enforced by DOL/WHD; . . . denial of required break times; unilateral changes to wages, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment; discriminatory failure to hire, retaliatory discipline or other unlawful employment practices, including using employee work authorization or immigration status in a threatening or retaliatory manner; and the identification and investigation of complex or fissured employment structures, including single or joint employer, alter ego, and business models designed to evade legal accountability, such as the misclassification of employees.”
As you can see, these agencies are currently hyper-focused on employer’s wage and hour practices and retaliation. It is important for employers to understand this climate and how one charge with one agency may result in twice the liability. This is an excellent time to take a hard look at your wage and hour practices, your classification of independent contractors, and your corporate structure and/or contractual relationships with other employers. KZA attorneys are always available to assist you in this regard and to provide training to your managers and supervisors on NLRA and FLSA matters.
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