Previously, the U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division focused most of its audit efforts on selected low-wage industries with immigrant work forces and high rates of labor-law violation, such as health care, agriculture and garment manufacturing. New targets include manufacturing and service industries. In fiscal 2003, the agency won back pay for a record number (30 percent higher than 2002), and it resolved cases quicker (average investigation time fell by 16 percent). Advice: Since 75 percent of DOL investigations still stem from complaints (not random audits), your best bet is to do a self-audit first to make sure no wage violations are bubbling under the surface. For advice on complying with wage laws, go to www.dol.gov/dol/topic/wages. For advice on complying with the newvisit www.dol.gov/fairpay.
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