Interfaith Worker Justice

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How to build relationships with your Federal and State Department of Labor officials

How to build relationships with your Federal and State Department of Labor officials

Federal Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor (DOL) and State Department of Labor staff are key allies in the fight against wage theft. 

They are experts in the laws, they are familiar with the problems workers and employers face and they understand all too well the crisis of wage theft.

These key allies often feel isolated and that they are fighting a national crisis all alone. If you are working to stop and deter wage theft, build relationships with these important allies.  They can:

  • Make presentations about workers rights and how to file wage complaints.
  • Supply educational materials for workers.
  • Assist businesses in fully complying with the laws.
  • Provide advice on reaching out to workers.

You can also help them.  You can:

  • Introduce them to key community allies.
  • Provide “safe” spaces for interviewing workers, such as congregations.
  • Assist in outreach to under-served communities.
  • Advocate additional resources for enforcement agencies (they are all understaffed to adequately protect workers). 
  • Invite them to meetings to talk about wage theft.

Begin by building a relationship.  Figure out who is the person nearest to you and schedule a time to meet in person.   

Look here for the nearest Federal DOL Wage and Hour office:   http://www.dol.gov/whd/america2.htm

Look here for the state Labor agencies (they often have different names):  http://www.dol.gov/whd/contacts/state_of.htm