The DOL's ordinary business is investigating and prosecuting overtime claims. Believe it or not, they're now in the private attorney referral business. They call it "Bridge to Justice."
The American Bar Association has partnered with the DOL to refer overtime claimants to a list of approved and ready-to-go plaintiff's overtime lawyers:
In the past, for those workers it did not have the capacity to assist, the Wage and Hour Division simply informed the workers that, even though they may have valid claims under the FLSA or the FMLA, the Wage and Hour was declining to pursue their claims further and that they have a private right of action under the applicable statute. However, attempting to exercise rights on their own, or finding an attorney with the necessary experience and subject matter expertise to represent them, are significant and difficult obstacles to these workers obtaining justice. When it is difficult for workers to pursue redress for denied rights, it makes it easier for those employers who exploit their workers to obtain an unfair competitive advantage, which denies law-abiding employers a level playing field.
Thanks to an unprecedented collaboration between the Wage and Hour Division and the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Lawyer Referral and Information Service (ABA LRIS), the Wage and Hour Division will now connect these workers to a local referral service that will, in turn, provide the workers with access to attorneys who may be able to help. This collaboration will both provide workers a better opportunity to seek redress for FLSA and FMLA violations and help level the playing field for employers who want to do the right thing.
Check out the whole DOL announcement here.
If you're a plaintiff's attorney, sign up for the list. I'm not. Or if you're an employer, watch your back.