Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 enforcement statistics released recently by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for violations occurring under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) show that DOL has continued the pattern established in the previous year of vigorous enforcement based on complaints filed with the agency. The numbers appear to belie any claims that the Trump Administration would be soft on wage and hour enforcement.

These latest numbers reveal that monetary penalties collected for minimum wage violations by U.S. employers increased from the year before to the highest total in the last ten years, while overtime violation monetary penalties were the second highest in a decade, trailing only the FY 2018 total. Similarly, the total back wages collected (minimum wage and overtime combined) was the second highest in ten years, behind only last year’s record total.

Please note that because the FLSA allows an individual to go directly to court rather than first filing a complaint with DOL, these statistics, while impressive, present only a partial picture of wage and hour enforcement. Indeed, FLSA lawsuits have quadrupled over the last 20 years and now constitute the second most prevalent type of employment-related lawsuit filed by individuals in federal court.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.