Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC office, was quoted in NBC News, in “Trump Hits Corporate Violators — with a Feather,” by Suzy Khimm.
Following is an excerpt:
Through a new initiative, the Labor Department is putting on a friendlier face toward businesses that run afoul of federal wage laws, arguing that the approach will make it easier for employers to fix their problems — and help workers get the back pay they rightfully deserve more quickly.
Employers who violate federal minimum-wage and overtime laws can now resolve their offenses with fewer potential penalties and lawsuits if they come forward under the pilot program that’s expected to run through October.
In exchange for stepping forward, employers are exempt from paying additional penalties on top of giving workers what they are owed. Another reward: Workers who agree to recover their wages through the program must give up their right to sue their employer.
The Labor Department said the initiative will help more employees get back wages by avoiding protracted investigations and litigation.
“The department spends fewer resources in investigating employers who want to comply with the law and made an honest mistake they want to rectify quickly,” said Labor Department communications director Megan Sweeney. The department, she added, “can instead focus its resources on those employers who are avoiding their legal obligations intentionally or recklessly.”
Paul DeCamp, who ran the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division under President George W. Bush, praised the administration for adopting a less adversarial strategy that he believes will bring more problems to light.
“When employers have every incentive to be quiet about the issue, workers don’t get paid, and violations continue,” he said.