Will DOL get $41 million bump to ratchet up enforcement efforts?

The president has handed Congress his budget proposal for 2015. And it carries some bad news for employers.  
In total, President Obama has proposed cutting the DOL an $11.8 billion check, much of which would go toward enforcing wage and hour, worker misclassification, whistleblower and employment safety laws.
While the budget is likely to receive some pushback from Congress, it’s a good sign of what the White House hopes to accomplish in the near future.
And what it’s telling employers is to expect more of the same. The DOL’s enforcement efforts have done nothing but gain strength since Obama took office — via the hiring of more enforcement officers and initiatives to increase the auditing of employers’ wage and hour, and classification practices.
This year’s budget contains a $41 million revenue bump for the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division.
Here’s what that $41 million is expected to buy:

  • 300 more investigators who would “use risk-based approaches to target the industries and employers most likely to break the law”
  • improved efforts to combat misclassification, including adding more funds to state agencies’ enforcement coffers
  • $4 million worth of misclassification enforcement personnel, and
  • the establishment of a state paid-leave fund to assist states that are considering the implementation of paid-leave programs.

The increased funding is expected to aid more than 300,000 workers by helping them secure back wages owed due to misclassification or FLSA violations.