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WHD Requests FY17 Budget Increase to Support Enforcement Efforts

March 29, 2016


The FY 2017 budget request for the US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) includes a significant increase over the previous year. The increase comes mostly from a boost in the enforcement and investigative staff.

The additional resources are intended to improve the WHD’s efficiency and effectiveness in detecting and deterring violations, focus enforcement and compliance assistance resources on priority industries, and ensure that workers are receiving a fair day’s pay. The proposed budget investments would significantly increase the number of investigative staff, improve case management capabilities, back wage collection and payments, and data analytics that would allow WHD to reach more workplaces.

WHD explains that it has adopted a strategic enforcement approach to achieving compliance, seeking to use its resources to secure maximum impact. WHD intends to prioritize efforts in industries where problems are the greatest, where workers are least likely to exercise their rights, and where WHD can have an impact on compliance. Overall WHD seeks to expand its impact through investigations in priority industries, strategic engagement of stakeholders, and strategic use of media and communications.

Some of the specific program increases include:

  • $29,419,000 and 300 FTEs for additional enforcement and training staff and support
  • $5,800,000 for a new, integrated case management system to replace the current outdated system, which impedes WHD’s ability to conduct strategic enforcement
  • $3,000,000 and 12 FTEs to build data analytic capabilities for strategic enforcement and the creation of data tools and products to allow WHD to take a data-driven informed approach

Keep in mind that this is WHD’s budget request and still has to be approved by Congress. More details can be found at http://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/documents/general/budget/CBJ-2017-V2-09.pdf.