The Department of Labor (DOL) announced recently that it has collected more than $300 million in back wages since 2009, benefiting some 385,000 workers.

Typically, back wages represent overtime pay that was withheld either knowingly or unknowingly. Since taking over, the Obama administration and DOL Secretary Hilda Solis have beefed up their inspection force by hiring some 300 additional Wage and Hour (WHD) Division agents. The DOL has also launched an outreach program called "We Can Help," which provides a hotline for workers to report wage abuse.

"Protecting worker rights is my top priority," Solis said upon announcing the monetary coup.

Overtime is codified in the landmark Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and has been further defined by Congress throughout the decades.

Get a copy today of Personnel Concepts’ FLSA Overtime Rules Compliance Kit and stay in tune with all federal wage laws.