Fair Labor Standards Act:

Selected Administrative Issues

HRD-88-48FS: Published: Feb 25, 1988. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information regarding the Employment Standards Administration's (ESA) Wage and Hour Division's enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act, focusing on its: (1) methods for compliance officer training and performance evaluation; (2) full-time-equivalent staff-year ceiling and staffing levels for fiscal years (FY) 1981 through 1987; and (3) deposits of back-wage money into the U.S. Treasury.

GAO found that compliance officer training included: (1) on-the-job training; (2) a 3-week entry-level course; (3) a 4-day follow-up course for second-year officers; (4) management courses for assistant area directors; (5) executive training for area directors; and (6) periodic training conferences for all officers concerning labor law revisions and enactments. GAO also found that supervisors: (1) review and approve all completed cases to ensure compliance officers' conformance with eight performance standards; (2) prepare performance improvement programs for officers whose performance is deficient; and (3) reinvestigate one case completed by each officer every 18 months. In addition, GAO found that: (1) the full-time-equivalent compliance officer ceiling has ranged from 929 to 1,107 in the last 7 FY; (2) ESA did not use 3 to 8.2 percent of the authorized full-time equivalents during several FY due to hiring freezes and slowdowns; and (3) ESA deposited about $1.5 million in back wages during FY 1986 and 1987.

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