Wage and hour enforcement across the country has become complicated since the presidential election. The Trump Administration has yet to appoint officials to oversee enforcement of regulations, including an administrator for the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.
This has caused a lack of uniformity in the enforcement of wage and hour laws, as some local officials are following policies outlined by the Obama administration, while others are changing course in anticipation of new rules by the Trump Administration.
With no clear directive, some local offices are changing regulations in anticipation of rules that will favor businesses. The local investigators, who track claims involving minimum wage, overtime and family leave laws, are caught in a difficult position with little guidance. The more business-friendly stances some investigators are taking include:
- Withdrawing questions on joint employer relationships
- Not assessing double damages on back pay owed
- Performing fewer new workplace audits overall
It is unclear how exactly this will play out in the short and long term. An appointee to the Wage and Hour Division needs to be approved by the Senate, which means even if someone is appointed soon, it will take some time for that person to be confirmed.
In the meantime, local officials will likely continue to make their own decisions, which means the outcome of your wage and hour case could vary greatly depending on where you live. In addition to possible changes to policy once new officials are confirmed, this is another situation worth keeping an eye on.