DOL Wage and Hour Division Releases New Resources on Worker Retaliation

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) published a new webpage dedicated to resources about worker retaliation. The page explains what retaliation is and what it can look like in the workplace, provides examples of retaliation, and contains links to other resources about the laws that WHD enforces, who is protected, how to file complaints, and other information.

In announcing the new webpage, the DOL wrote in an email: “Too often, retaliation, or the fear of it, prevents the most vulnerable workers including those making the lowest wages, immigrant workers, workers of color, and women from exercising their workplace rights and ensuring they are paid the wages they are owed and receive other protections under the law.”

“These workers are least able to endure a job loss or demotion, and immigrants and guest workers are vulnerable to threats of deportation,” the email continues. The email also states that to fight retaliation, “employers can identify and address behaviors that may result in retaliation against workers by providing training and demonstrating a commitment not to retaliate against workers who exercise their rights.”

On the webpage, visitors can see what kinds of actions can constitute retaliation and view examples of retaliation. The examples explain the industry in which the employee works, the retaliatory action that the employer took, and a final explanation about the retaliation that the employee faced. The “Laws We Enforce” contain links to and short descriptions of the laws WHD enforces: the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act.

“Any worker protected by any of the individual laws listed above is protected by their anti-retaliation provisions,” the webpage states. “Coverage differs among WHD’s laws, so please refer to our online resources to determine whether a particular law applies.”

The webpage contains more links to other resources about filing complaints and fact sheets, which are also available in Spanish.

View the new webpage here.

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