Director's Spotlight - December 2010
Working for the Holidays
A column by Department Director
During the holidays, we find a lot of people picking up seasonal or part-time jobs to earn extra money and to help employers get through the busy shopping season. Unfortunately, temporary workers are at greater risk of getting cheated out of their paychecks, especially their last paychecks. Not paying an employee for their work and time is not only wrong, it’s illegal.
The Division of Labor Standards (DLS) within the Department of Labor is an agency that can protect workers who are not being paid by investigating these wage complaints. In fact, they have a 90% success rate in making sure employers make it right by paying workers the wages they are owed. These investigations are usually the result of a tip from a single worker, taking a stand against an employer who is most like cheating multiple employees. This means a complaint from one employee can turn into the Department finding and returning wages to many other employees.
The Department works tirelessly to investigate wage complaints and collect restitution from employers who do not pay their employees the correct wages. In fiscal year 2010, the Department investigated and discovered 125 prevailing wage violations, affecting 655 Missouri workers. During that same time, 795 people in our state were not paid the minimum wage, and the Department found 147 employers in violation of the law. Through our efforts, these investigations allowed nearly 1,500 workers to get their money back, in the amount of $746,115.
The Department of Labor and all its divisions, look forward to the coming year, to continue protecting the hard-working citizens of Missouri. If you know you were not paid the proper wages, file a wage complaint and let us help you and your co-workers get back what you deserve. And for those still on the clock and working during the holidays, it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and ask for your wages the day your employer tells you they no longer need you— rather than to wait for it in the mail. You have the right to collect your paycheck at the end of your shift if you are terminated. It’s the right thing to do and it’s the law.
Director's Spotlight Archives
November 2011 - Native American Heritage Month
October 2011 - National Disability Employment Awareness
September 2011 - Labor Day: A Tribute to Missouri's Leadership in Worker Protection
April 2011 - How Housing Fraud Can Crush the American Dream
January 2011 - Worker Misclassification is Bad for Business
December 2010 - Working for the Holidays
November 2010 - Unemployment Benefits: Transitioning to Jobs
October 2010 - Protecting a Precious Industry
September 2010 - Labor Day: A Tribute to Missouri Workers
August 2010 - WorkReadyMissouri: Enhancing Missouri's Workforce
July 2010 - Workers' Compensation: Stepping Up Efforts against those Cheating the System
June 2010 - Preparing Missouri for the Evolving Economy
May 2010 - Workers' Memorial Day 2010
April 2010 - Missouri's Unemployment Update