Wage and Hour Enforcement Up, Complaints Down, according to Printing Industries of America’s Human Relations Department

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, February 4, 2013—Printing Industries of America’s Human Relations Department today releases Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Wage and Hour Division (WHD) enforcement statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor. The data was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The WHD has not published enforcement statistics on its website since 2008; however, the data from FY 2008 to FY2012 is available on the Printing Industries of America website.

The WHD recovered more than $280 million in back wages for over 308,000 employees in FY 2012.  While the dollar amount of back wages collected increased by over $54 million and the number of employees receiving back wages increased by over 24,000 compared to FY 2011, the number of complaints declined by almost 1,700. In addition, the number of concluded cases increased by 473. In 2009 the WHD hired some 250 additional investigators and approximately 100 in 2010. In FY 2012, approximately 1,000 FTEs were investigators of a total staff of 1,759. The agency concluded 34,139 compliance actions. Click here to view the WHD Enforcement Statistics for FY 2011 and FY2012.

The number of minimum wage violation cases remained stable in FY 2012 with just an additional 84 cases through FY 2011. However, back wages collected increased by almost $6 million. Overtime cases experienced a similar trend—just 65 additional cases through FY 2011, yet $3.4 million addition back wages were collected. Click here to view 2011 and 2012 Minimum Wage statistics; click here for 2011 and 2012 overtime statistics.

Back wages collected for workers in low-wage industries continues to increase. In FY 2012, the agency collected almost $98 million in back wages for over 124,000 workers in low-wage industries. The number of cases in low-wage industries increased by just over 1,000 cases in FY 2012 over FY 2011. Industries that experienced a significant increase in enforcement in FY 2012 included: agriculture, day care, restaurants, and hotels/motels. Click here for 2011 Low-Wage industries Statistics; click here for 2012 Low-Wage Industries Statistics.

The statistics show that child labor enforcement is declining. Results for fiscal year 2012 show a total of 1,614 minors found illegally employed, an average of 2.2 minors illegally employed per investigation. Cases and minors found employed have been on a steady decline since 2008. Click here for child labor statistics for FY 2011 and FY 2012.

The number of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) complaint cases concluded in FY 2012 declined by 556. The number of no violation cases also declined by 404, as did the number of violation cases, 382.   The number of FMLA cases rose from fiscal year 2008 to a high of 2,319 in 2010, but for fiscal year 2012, the number of complaint cases was down to 1,723. Click here for FMLA Enforcement Statistics for FY 2011 and FY 2012.

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has kept its promise in focusing on low-wage industries, according to Printing Industries of America’s Jim Kyger, Assistant Vice President of Human Relations. However, the number of complaints has dropped dramatically from 31,824 in FY 2010 to 25,420 in FY 2012. 

“Various causes could be attributed to the decline,” Kyger explained. “For example, an improvement in the economy means employees are less fearful of their job and thus are less likely to make a compliant in order to seek job protections; employers are getting better compliance; and/or better screening by the Department of Labor of complaints as they come in.”

The one issue that does not have an apparent answer, according to Kyger, is why the Wage and Hour Division has not published these statistics since 2009. 


About Printing Industries of America
Printing Industries of America is the world’s largest graphic arts trade association, representing an industry with approximately one million employees. It serves the interests thousands of member companies. Together with its nationwide affiliate network, Printing Industries delivers products and services that enhance the growth, efficiency, and profitability of its members and the graphic communications industry through advocacy, education, research, and technical information.

Program Contact
Jim Kyger
+1 202-527-2688
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Published on Monday, February 4, 2013 (updated 06/03/2016)

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