In the first-ever collaboration between a federal agency and the private bar, the Department of Labor (DOL) and American Bar Association (ABA) will join forces to resolve employee complaints received by the Wage and Hour Division (a department that handles more than 35,000 employment-related legal complaints in a typical year).
Through an attorney-referral system, the new program will ensure more workers obtain legal assistance for complaints such as not getting paid the minimum wage, not being paid overtime, or being denied family medical leave.
As of December 13, complainants whose cases cannot be resolved by the DOL due to limited capacity will get a toll-free number connecting them to a network of state and local ABA-approved attorneys. If the DOL has already conducted an investigation, the complainant will receive the findings to share with the attorney who takes the case. The DOL also has established a special process to help complainants and representing attorneys obtain additional case details and documents.
According to DOL Secretary Hilda Solis, this collaboration “streamlines worker access to additional legal resources and builds on the Department of Labor’s continued efforts to ensure that employers comply with America’s labor laws.”
To learn more, check out the We Can Help area of the DOL’s website.