On Feb. 8, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced an initiative that will focus on safeguarding worker rights and protections in the warehousing and logistics industries. This announcement follows an earlier DOL announcement that it will add 100 additional investigators to its Wage and Hour Division.
- The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division has announced a warehouse and logistics worker initiative.
- The initiative will target compliance with the FLSA, workplace harassment and retaliation protections, and adequate worker classification.
- The division will plan vigorous enforcement to meet the goals of the initiative.
The DOL initiative will rely on education, outreach and vigorous enforcement to increase compliance and reduce industry violations.
Among other things, this DOL initiative is designed to help workers in warehousing and logistics (including delivery drivers and truck drivers) be paid all their legal wages and be safe from workplace harassment and retaliation when they enforce their rights. The initiative will also focus on employee misclassification as independent contractors.
The DOL chose to focus on the warehousing and logistics industries because of the strain the COVID-19 pandemic and global supply chain disruptions have placed on this sector of the economy. The DOL initiative will rely on “education, outreach and vigorous enforcement to increase compliance and reduce industry violations.”
Employer Next Steps
Employers can rely on this DOL announcement as an indication of the agency’s intention to increase compliance with current employment standards, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act. As a result, employers in these industries should take particular care to ensure their payroll processes and procedures, as well as their employee classification efforts, conform with existing laws.
To assist with internal audits, employers can use DOL Fact Sheet #10: Wholesale and Warehouse Industries Under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
This Legal Update is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. ©2022 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.
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