The following press release was issued by the National Labor Relations Board on January 6.
U.S. Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board sign partnership agreement to enhance information sharing, enforcement, training, and outreach
The U.S. Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced today that the department’s Wage and Hour Division and the NLRB have signed a Memorandum of Understanding strengthening the agencies’ partnership and outlining procedures on information-sharing, joint investigations and enforcement activity, as well as training, education and community outreach.
The agreement is an effort by the agencies to improve the enforcement process of the laws they administer and reaffirms their commitment to ensure the rights and protections of workers. The partnership will help ensure that employers pay workers their rightful wages and that workers can take collective action to improve their working conditions without fear of retaliation.
“Workers across this nation put food on our tables, and keep our families well and our neighborhoods safe. In return, they deserve equity, fair pay and our respect,” said Acting Wage and Hour Administrator Jessica Looman. “The Wage and Hour Division works tirelessly to ensure workers receive their hard earned wages and job-protected leave without fear of harassment and retaliation. Collaborating with the National Labor Relations Board will expand both of our agencies’ impact and effectiveness in enforcing workplace protections and combatting misclassification, and preventing retaliation against them.”
The Wage and Hour Division and NLRB’s collaboration will strengthen their interagency relationship by creating mechanisms to share information efficiently and establish a process for referral, joint investigation and cross training of personnel. The agreement will also allow for better enforcement against unlawful pay practices, misclassification of workers as independent contractors, and retaliation against workers who exercise their legal rights.
“All too often, workers face adverse action for speaking out about their compensation, whether it is discussing their wages, fighting back against wage theft, or advocating for higher wages. The National Labor Relations Act makes it illegal for employers to interfere with, or retaliate against, workers for taking these actions,” said National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo. “These issues frequently cut across multiple worker protection agencies, which is why it is so important to work collaboratively to prevent and address them.”
In addition to enhanced enforcement, the agencies will use the partnership to increase the public’s understanding of the laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division and the NLRB through increased community outreach, shared compliance materials, joint presentations and training events. The cooperative agreement will support the joint goals of the WHD and NLRB to protect workers who exercise their workplace rights and educate employers about their legal responsibilities under federal laws.
Learn more about the Fair Labor Standards Act and other laws enforced by the division or contact its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Use the division’s free search tool use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.
To learn more about the National Labor Relations Board, call 1-844-762-6572 or visit nlrb.gov. For assistance filing a charge, reach out to your NLRB Regional Office.