HOUSTON –After severe weather and other natural calamities strike, the U.S. Department of Labor urges employers who clear debris, repair homes or provide other disaster recovery services to avoid using pay practices that violate federal regulations by taking advantage of the many resources it provides.“Workers are especially vulnerable after communities are impacted by severe weather or disasters, and once the worst is over, the U.S. Department of Labor moves quickly to protect the rights of workers to be paid their full, legally earned wages,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Chad Frasier in Houston. “We also stand ready — long before and after the damage is done — to equip employers with the information and guidance needed to avoid the sometimes costly consequences for employers who fail to comply with the law.”Recent Houston area storms are clear reminders of how the Wage and Hour Division’s Natural Disaster Compliance Assistance Toolkit offers employers valuable assistance. The kit includes downloadable information on how to avoid violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and focuses on the most common infractions by employers involved in disaster recovery, clean-up and rebuilding efforts. Division investigators often find employers not paying proper minimum, overtime and prevailing wages, misclassifying employees as independent contractors, keeping incomplete payroll records and using child labor illegally. People employed in storm and disaster recovery whose employer failed to pay them fully may contact the division confidentially toll-free at 1-866-4-US-WAGE (487-9243). The division protects workers regardless of immigration status and can communicate with workers in more than 200 languages. Learn more about contacting the division or about how to file a complaint.Download the agency’s new Timesheet App, which is available in English and Spanish for Android and Apple devices, to ensure hours and pay are accurate.

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