Employment Law Report
DOL Launches Website To Educate Essential Workers
By: Michelle D. Wyrick
The United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) has launched a new initiative named “Essential Workers, Essential Protections” that is designed to educate essential workers and their employers about laws that protect essential workers, including wage and hour laws. Examples of essential workers include workers in grocery stores, public transportation, agriculture, health care, day care, and retail. According to the DOL, a majority of essential work performed in the United States is done by low-wage workers and is most often done by women, immigrants, and people of color. As part of the initiative, the DOL has created a web page that collects resources for essential workers and includes instructions about how to contact the DOL to report wage, hour or leave concerns. The new web page includes links to a series of webinars addressing issues that have arisen during the pandemic as well as links to pandemic-related questions and answers about pay issues and the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act, break time for nursing mothers, and leave issues under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The webinars offered by DOL can be found here.