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FLSA, FMLA enforcement reaches record highs

by on
in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

If you thought the regulatory watchdogs would become lap dogs under the Bush administration, you were wrong.

In fiscal 2002, the U.S. Labor Department collected $143 million from companies that violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the largest total in more than 10 years and a 33 percent increase over 2001.

Chalk it up to beefed-up enforcement of several wage-and-hour issues. Top targets: child labor violators and low-wage industries such as garment manufacturing, agriculture and health care.

Workers are also learning their rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), resulting in a 25 percent spike in FMLA-related complaints in 2002 over 2001. The Labor Department hit up employers for more than $3.7 million in back wages for FMLA violations, a record high. Biggest complaints: Employers' refusal to grant FMLA leave and retaliating against workers who took such leave.

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