• Trump's Hiring Freeze Raises Concerns about Wage Enforcement
  • April 17, 2017
  • Law Firm: Breazeale Sachse Wilson L.L.P. - Baton Rouge Office
  • President Donald Trump's federal hiring freeze is causing anxiety that the Labor Department may lack the resources to adequately investigate workplace wage violation allegations. President Donald Trump's January 23 executive order that halted federal hiring includes the Department of Labor, which has yet to disclose how it will implement the order. The DOL also neglected to discuss how the Wage and Hour Division will be prioritized in the next budget. Former WHD officials from both Republican and Democratic administrations warn that the freeze could create a problem if investigators and their supervisors flee their positions, leaving the agency unable to fill the vacancies. The current WHD field staff is comprised of more than 1,200 non-managerial workers including 1,000 investigators responsible for protecting workers' wage and leave rights. About a fourth of the field employees are eligible for retirement or early outs. While it is common for career civil servants to consider an exit during presidential transitions, the Trump administration's talk of shrinking the federal workforce and reducing pay and benefits is making the potential for those considering an exit a very real possibility. Ex-WHD directors worry if the WHD isn't prioritized, the enforcement activities and compliance assistant will deteriorate.