According to the Governor, Division of Wage
and Workplace Standards staff recovered $8,135,302 in legally due wages for
employees during the past fiscal year – an increase of more than one million
from what was recovered the previous year. This amount included $3,905,298
recovered by wage enforcement staff responding to complaints that owed wages had
not been paid. The division also recovered $1,887,365 by enforcing the state’s
prevailing wage laws and returned $2,115,133 to workers that were not paid for
overtime or the minimum wage. An additional $227,506 was recouped in back pay
owed to service workers hired by private contractors.
In addition, a total of 171 Stop Work Orders
were issued to employers in the state who did not comply with Worker’s
Compensation requirements. Following on-site investigations, the division
required these companies to cease work on a construction project until certain
workplace regulations were met. In some cases, the division determined that
employers misrepresented employees as independent contractors or provided
incomplete information regarding the number of their employees with the idea of
paying lower insurance premiums – a practice that causes an economic
disadvantage to other companies.
According to Gary K. Pechie, Director of the
Division of Wage and Workplace Standards, the division also handled more than
25,000 telephone and written inquiries during the past fiscal year and provided
outreach services to businesses and schools, especially in the area of
regulations related to the employment of youth.
“We consider the enforcement of child labor
laws – in order to keep our young workers safe – to be one of our core
missions,” Pechie noted. “Overall, with more than 160 laws pertaining to the
protection of workers’ rights, often a law is not fully understood and in these
cases, education and information is just as vital as enforcement activities.”
Governor Rell urged the business
community to take advantage of the state’s extensive outreach efforts, including
the easily accessible compliance materials and guidelines found on the Labor
Department’s home page at
and listed under the Division of Wage and Workplace Standards.