Employers and the Law: How We Help

Employers can get expert guidance on many topics at our forums.


Among the broad range of issues employers tackle, managing labor often requires significant resources. Why am I responsible for my workers' safety? How much am I required to pay employees? Must I allow time off for illness? Do I need to provide health insurance? Can I use independent contractors? These are just a few questions that employers may ask when evaluating their labor force. Unfortunately, employers sometimes get incorrect answers to these questions when they seek advice from the wrong sources.

A group of employers attends a forum.
Representatives from many industries
attend our forums.

The department takes a proactive approach in helping employers comply with federal labor laws. One important way is by gathering multiple agencies in a single location to provide employers with free compliance assistance and training in key areas that affect companies of all sizes.

We see representatives from a wide range of industries at these forums – from construction, to hospitality, to manufacturing, to healthcare. These trainings provide a critical piece of our overall outreach efforts, and support our belief that most employers want to do the right thing – they just need to know what that is. At the Wage and Hour Division, we take the education of the employer community seriously. Last year alone, we conducted more than 1,400 outreach seminars, conferences, speeches, symposiums, panel discussions and presentations.

At a recent forum in Oklahoma City, a human resources consulting company representative attended to learn more about the Fair Labor Standards Act. When he had questions about an employer’s ability to claim a tip credit under the FLSA, he was able to sit down with an investigator who walked him through the computation process and explained the details of the provision. The consultant left equipped to make the changes necessary to ensure compliance among his organization’s hundreds of employer clients.

Employer forums offer a one-stop opportunity for employers to interact directly with many of the agencies that support key workplace issues such as wages, recordkeeping, pensions, 401(k) savings plans, safety and health, government contracting, and recruiting and training for former military service members. Representatives from our agencies, including the Employee Benefits Security AdministrationOccupational Safety and Health AdministrationOffice of Federal Contract Compliance ProgramsVeterans’ Employment and Training Service and the Wage and Hour Division, participate in these events to provide employers, company managers, human resources professionals and others with the resources and training they need to comply with federal requirements.

These consultations are quick, confidential and effective. Employers seeking information at one of these forums, or directly from the agency at any other time, need not provide any identifying information, and asking for help in no way triggers any enforcement activity. This confidentiality is critical to making sure we can get information into the hands of those who need it.

In the Southwest, the department has hosted three employer forums recently – Houston in November 2016, San Antonio in January 2017 and Oklahoma City in March 2017. Employers who attend leave with the answers they need, and a greater understanding of the laws that apply to their business. They also have a chance to connect directly with agency representatives an employer can turn to in the future for answers to their questions, making it easier than ever for employers to get the information they need to comply with the law.

Subscribe to the DOL Newsletter and visit the DOL Events Calendar to find training opportunities in your area.

Betty Campbell is the regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest.




In was terminated from a job and was told that I would not be paid my unused vacation time. When I asked where that was stated in the handbook the HE rep remarked that it was an older version than the one I signed. She also stated that since this was not an approved vacation that it did not count. My question is if I was not told specifically that I would not be paid for unused vacation time should I be

Check the DOL Wage and Hour website. Vacation time is considered earned income in accordance with law.

Is there a Labor Law, Federal and/or State, "Outlawing" Grants/ WAIVERS for senior citizens employed in JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS such as Experience Works and SER - Jobs For Progress National, Inc.(SCSEP),???????

Are employers allowed to make you work without paying a wage? Why do some employers in various southern states insist on hiring workers they do not pay? Does DOL under Wage and Hours division cover this particular situation where employers refuse to pay for worked performed by its employees? How can the employees document that work was performed but no pay was provided? The employer can just withhold the records for that employee when talking with the DOL.

I'm an RN for a home health agency. I'm forced to work overtime and drive very far for work regularly. I am paid OT. My issue is I don't want to work/drive 60+ hrs per week. I can't physically do it and I get taxed so much it's not worth it. I love my job but I can't get them to understand I'm not a superhuman. No union. Wish there was a way to mediate with my employer with a 3rd party because I really just want to work regular people hours

My husband works at Home Depot in Indiana and he found out that the HR person has been hiding hours from corporate so the store manager gets a bonus. Is that illegal?

Hi Maryann,

Please contact our Wage and Hour Division at 1-866-487-9243. 

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