The Wage and Hour Division (WHD), the wing of the Department of Labor (DOL) that enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), not only has beefed up its membership and its enforcement activities, but is now also demanding liquidated (doubled) damages in its settlements with employers over back wages.
The FLSA has always provided for liquidated damages for back wages, but the WHD in the past generally only pursued liquidated damages when it went to trial, not as part of an administrative settlement.
The Pennsylvania Labor and Employment Blog, in a post this week, maintains that “the WHD appears to be assessing liquidated damages almost as a matter of course as a normal part of the investigative process, thus subjecting employers to double liability (back pay plus an equal amount in liquidated damages).”
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