Many employers are interested in updating their Texas Payday Law Poster, as payroll violations in the Gulf Coast region hit the news. The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced its participation in the U.S. Department of Justice Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force.
Employers should be aware that failure to display required posters – including the Texas Payday Law Poster – can result in fines up to $7,500, depending upon the state. Participation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division will enable better coordination and prosecution of violations of wage and hour laws.
“Employers and federal contractors and subcontractors must understand that this department is serious about pursuing the non-payment and under-payment of wages,” said Victoria A. Lipnic, Assistant Secretary for Employment Standards. “We cannot allow those who contribute their labor to the hurricane recovery effort to be exploited.”
In September 2005, the U.S. Justice Department created the Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force, designed to deter, investigate and prosecute disaster-related federal crimes such as charity fraud, identity theft, procurement fraud and insurance fraud.
The Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force — chaired by Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division — includes members from the FBI, the Federal Trade Commission, the Postal Inspection Service, and the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, among others.
Participation in the Katrina Fraud Task Force will allow the Wage and Hour Division to enhance the enforcement work it has already been doing in the Gulf. Currently, an internal Wage and Hour Division task force is investigating alleged violations of the laws it enforces, including government contract labor standards on federal contracts in the Gulf Coast region.
Many individuals working in the Gulf Coast region are recent immigrants with limited knowledge of the protections afforded them under U.S. law. Through enforcement actions and outreach efforts in the region, the Wage and Hour Division is taking aggressive steps to ensure employees know their rights and employers meet their obligations under federal wage and hour laws.