The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is a department of federal government that seeks improvements and advancements in work related conditions, welfare, and benefits. As counterparts to the federal DOL, states have their own departments of labor.
What Does DOL Regulate?
DOL regulation is extensive, encompassing over 180 federal laws that about 125 million workers and 10 million employees. Below is a non-exhaustive list that illustrates DOL's extensive authority to regulate diverse areas of law.
- Wage and Hour: The Wage and Hour Division of the DOL enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which addresses wage, overtime pay, and child labor regulation. The division also enforces Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which requires employers of certain size to provide 12 week job leave in case of birth, or adoption, or serious illness in the family.
- Workplace Safety and Health: The Occupational Safety and Health Act regulates safety and health of employees at workplace. Another part of DOL, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), enforces the Act. OSHA also enforces whistleblower laws for protection of violation reporting employees.
- Workers’ Compensation: Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) administers several federal compensation programs that cover certain employees and their qualified survivors in cases involving work-related injury or death.
- Employee Benefit Security: The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is responsible for regulations under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Employees’ pensions, welfare benefits, and certain insurance plans are covered by ERISA regulations.
- Unions and Labor Relations: Union reporting requirements and election standards are covered by the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), which is administered by Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS).
Seeking Help from an Attorney
The US Department of Labor (DOL) maintains a broad authority to administer diverse federal statutes. If you believe that your rights and/or benefits under one or several of these statutes had been taken away, you may need an advice from a qualified employment attorney specializing in the relevant legal area.
Note that a violation of federal statutes administered by DOL may implicate violations of similar state and local laws. A qualified attorney will advise you about any applicable laws that may have been violated.