- Eighty percent of the 71 cotton gin employers investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor violated labor law between November 2019 and March 2021, the agency announced Jan. 10.
- The investigation yielded $445K in recovered wages, damages and penalties.
- Employers most commonly violated the Fair Labor Standards Act in failure to pay proper overtime and keep accurate records. Employers also commonly failed to disclose actual terms and conditions and give wage statements to workers.
DOL's findings indicated a widespread problem among cotton gin employers, the agency concluded.
"Our investigations show that far too many cotton gin operators are not compliant with federal labor law," said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Juan Coria in Atlanta. "The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division maintains a dogged commitment to ensure that cotton gin workers receive all of their hard earned wages as well as the worker protections they are due."
Back wages for overtime violations make up the majority of back wages WHD collects each year. In FY 2021, the agency collected more than $138 million in overtime back wages — the result of 7,159 violations. That figure made up 84% of the agency's FLSA back wage collection.
Since 2009, overtime back pay has accounted for 77% to 90% of the agency's FLSA back wage collection.