U.S. Dept. of Labor launches new program to expedite payment to American workers
Monday, April 23, 2018
The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is announcing a new pilot program, the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program, which expedites resolution of inadvertent overtime and minimum wage violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The PAID program will ensure that more employees receive back wages they are owed—faster. Employees will receive 100 percent of the back wages paid, without having to pay any litigation expenses, attorneys’ fees, or other costs that may be applicable to private actions.
“This PAID program presents an opportunity for credit unions to cure any HR ailments that we may have missed due to heavy regulatory burdens without penalties, and this is a positive,” said Trichina Pierce, compliance manager/associate counsel for the Carolinas Credit Union League. “Additionally, even if credit unions don’t need to self-report under the PAID program, HR is one of those areas that can be overlooked on a day-to-day basis. This is a great reminder to take a step back and get refreshed on DOL pay standards to make sure credit union employees are taken care of.”
The PAID program facilitates resolution of potential violations, without litigation, and ensures employees promptly receive the wages they are owed. Under this program, the Wage and Hour Division will oversee resolution of the potential violations by assessing the amount of wages due and supervising their payment to employees.
The Division will not impose penalties or liquidated damages to finalize a settlement for employers who choose to participate in the PAID program and proactively work with the Division to fix and resolve their potential compensation errors. Employers may not participate in the PAID program if they are in litigation or currently under investigation by the Division for the practices at issue. Employers likewise cannot use the pilot program repeatedly to resolve the same potential violations, as this program is designed to identify and correct potentially non-compliant practices.
Settlements will be limited in scope to only the potential violations at issue. The program further requires employers to review the Division’s compliance assistance materials, carefully audit their pay practices, and agree to correct the pay practices at issue going forward. These requirements improve the employers’ compliance with their minimum wage and overtime obligations, which helps ensure employees’ rights are protected.
The Division is implementing the pilot program nationwide for approximately six months, after which it will evaluate the pilot program and consider future options. The Division encourages employers to proactively audit their compensation practices to identify potential non-compliant practices. More information concerning the pilot program is available at www.dol.gov/whd/paid.