The Fair Labor Standards Act:

Selected Enforcement Activities

HRD-87-68FS: Published: Apr 16, 1987. Publicly Released: May 19, 1987.

Additional Materials:


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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division's (WHD) enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

GAO found that: (1) the full-time-equivalent staff years that WHD compliance officers spent on FLSA enforcement increased from 474 in fiscal year (FY) 1984 to 499 in FY 1986; (2) the number of FLSA compliance actions increased from 64,093 in FY 1984 to 72,617 in FY 1986, due to an increase in conciliation actions, rather than in investigations; (3) back wages due employees increased from $107 million in FY 1984 to $122 million in FY 1986, and the amount that employers agreed to pay increased from $78.5 million to $93 million; (4) most back wages due employees resulted from investigations rather than conciliations; (5) the number of FLSA complaints increased by 3,892 between FY 1984 and FY 1985, but decreased by 1,645 between FY 1985 and FY 1986; (6) Labor issued final implementing regulations covering state and local government employees; (7) Labor issued proposed regulations covering restricted home-worker industries to permit employers to legally employ home-workers under a certification system; and (8) WHD closed a number of area and field offices after 1981 for administrative and staffing reasons.

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