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Wage and Hour Division of Justice Department on workers' side

Missouri workers may not realize that the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor has been ensuring companies' compliance with labor laws for over 76 years. The division is tasked with making sure that workers take home a "fair day's pay for a fair day's work."

Recognizing that enforcement is not sufficient to protect workers and level the playing field for companies, they promote educating employers so they can remain compliant with the nation's labor laws. The belief is that those employers who stay abreast of their legal responsibilities and the negative consequences of running afoul of the law are more likely to identify and fix violations or avoid them entirely. Teaching workers about their rights is another pro-active stance supported by the department's WHD.

The WHD has presented over 10,000 events for outreach and information in the business community since 2009. They also developed a website that delves intopics like the Family and Medical Leave Act and child labor laws that had more than 33 million views last year. The web site lists a free help line number, 866-4US-WAGE, that both workers and employers can call anonymously for information.

Compliance is also a part of enforcement cases. When an investigation reveals trouble spots, working together with employers can result in remedies that go beyond the minimum compliance legally required, thus benefiting workers as well.

Workers who experience denials of earned overtime pay or other wage violations can request assistance from the WHD to right these wrongs. The goal remains to insure that workers get the full pay to which they are entitled so they can pay for life's necessities.

Workers who face problems on the job related to benefits and unpaid wages may wish to contact a Missouri employment law attorney for advice.

Source: Department of Labor, "Employers Must Know the Rules" David Weil, Nov. 17, 2014

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