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Program aims to educate agricultural employers regarding workers' rights

Recently, the Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division announced a new program to help educate the southeast United State’s agricultural industry concerning federal wage and hour law and guidelines as set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA sets forth numerous provisions including that all workers be paid at least minimum wage, and that non-exempt employees be paid overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-half times their standard rate of pay. The initiative's goal is to help ensure workers are receiving the wages they are entitled to and includes educational and investigative components. It also seeks to raise awareness and provide assistance to employers so that they comply with federal law. The initiative is directed at employers in Georgia as well as Florida, Kentucky, and other states within the southeast.

According to the Department of Labor, employer compliance with the FLSA is a major concern. A recent investigation of the Southeast region spanning the last 18 months revealed that 78% of the employers had violations, including owing substantial amounts of back wages and overtime pay to more than 3400 workers.

A representative noted, “Agricultural employers must be aware of their obligations under the law and act accordingly…the initiative is also designed to ensure employers provide farmworkers with safe working conditions and pay them the wages they have legally earned.”

For more information concerning the initiative or if you believe you have not earned all the compensation you are rightfully entitled to, please contact the dedicated Atlanta wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Beal, LLP for an immediate consultation.

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