Testifying before a House subcommittee, Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Hilda Solis recently detailed plans for fiscal 2011 to use $1.7 billion out of a budget of $116.5 billion, along with 10,957 employees out of 17,800 total, for what she called "worker protection activities."

Plans also call for adding another 90 inspectors to the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) after the addition of 250 in fiscal 2010. WHD inspectors check out employee claims of unpaid overtime, minimum wage violations and other wage disputes.

Along with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which is auditing 6,000 businesses in the next three years over the misclassification of employees, DOL agents also will be looking for cases of employers labeling employees independent contractors to avoid their share of payroll taxes (as well as paying benefits).

Another trap: Employers often misclassify employees as exempt when in fact they are non-exempt and subject to overtime pay. Avoid this trap by getting a copy of Personnel Concepts’ FLSA Overtime Rules Compliance Kit and then properly classifying–and paying–your employees.