Despite an increase in Department of Labor (DOL) investigators, wage and FMLA claims continue to increase and exceed the Department's capacity. To assist in claim disputes, the Wage and Hour Division of the DOL has revised its practices to include a "Bridge to Justice." The Bridge to Justice Program connects employees who have FLSA or FMLA claims with pre-selected American Bar Association (ABA) approved attorneys.
Effective December 13, 2010, the Wage and Hour Division may include a toll free phone number for FLSA and FMLA complainants which will connect them directly to the ABA-Approved Attorney Referral System, at which point complainants can determine whether to retain the private-sector attorney. This attorney referral would take the place of a DOL investigation.
What this means to Employers:
Historically, wage claims have been relatively simple to resolve and costs were often minimal. However, the inclusion of attorneys can mean instant litigation for a company, adding hundreds of dollars in legal fees to a simple claim.
What this means to Nextep's Clients:
Nextep's certified Human Resources Department is already experienced in educating clients and assisting with case-by-case scenarios to ensure compliance for both employers and employees. Our strong expertise and extensive experience ensures that our clients do not have to face these compliance issues alone.
For more information on the DOL's Bridge to Justice program, visit their website here. For specific guidance in your company's compliance issues, please contact Nextep's HR Department at email@example.com or 888-811-5150.