U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis’ budget request to Congress includes funds to hire nearly 1,000 new employees, 670 of whom will be investigators. The plan calls for 200 more wage-and-hour Labor investigators and 160 additional Occupational Safety and Health Administration gumshoes.
Should Solis get everything on her wish list, the department’s Wage and Hour Division will see a $35 million increase in funding in FY 2010. OSHA would get $51 million more, while an additional $27 million would go to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. That office would pick up an additional 213 employees under the proposed budget.
In particular, the Labor Department seeks bilingual investigators who can easily communicate with immigrants. According to the department’s web site, Solis wants to return funding and staffing for enforcement efforts to 2001 levels.
Note: Now is the time to monitor your wage-and-hour andpractices to correct problems before the federal government comes barging in. Contact your attorney to run audits so that any deficiencies uncovered are protected by attorney-client privilege.