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Volume XII, Number 181

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The Department of Labor Ends its Payroll Audit Independent Program

On January 29, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the immediate termination of its Payroll Audit Independent Determination Program (PAID).  Launched in March 2018 by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), PAID was intended to resolve wage and hour disputes with greater expediency and at lower cost to employers.  However, in the WHD’s press release, Principal Deputy Administrator Jessica Looman indicated that the program had not achieved the desired effect, stating that the PAID “program deprived workers of their rights and put employers that play by the rules at a disadvantage.”

PAID incentivized employers to self-report overtime and minimum wage violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by mitigating the threat of not only penalties and extended statute of limitations, but also foreclosing affected workers from taking any private action based on the identified violations.  In exchange, the DOL would supervise settlements, approve agreements, and ensure 100% payment of back wages.

However, many were skeptical of PAID since its inception, including employers and state officials. PAID’s self-reporting provisions only resolved FLSA issues, not state law claims, exposing employers to state liability in exchange for their voluntary disclosures.  Furthermore, employers could not utilize PAID to resolve issues already under investigation by WHD or existing threat of litigation.

Despite PAID’s termination, employers should continue to be vigilant by auditing pay records and correcting any discovered wage issues.  Employers may also continue to utilize DOL-supervised settlements of FLSA claims.

©2022 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 41
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About this Author

Michael S. Kun, epstein becker green, los angeles, labor, employment
Member

Mr. Kun's practice includes:

  • Litigating more than six dozen class actions and collective actions in California, New York, Georgia and Maryland involving a variety of employment issues, including discrimination and wage-hour claims, and successfully defeating motions for class certification on such claims. The sizes of the putative classes have ranged from 75 to approximately 15,000 employees.

  • Litigating a wide variety of employment-related claims, including discrimination, harassment,...

310-557-9501
Paul DeCamp, Epstein Becker Green, Labor & Employment Attorney
Member

PAUL DeCAMP is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the Washington, DC, office of Epstein Becker Green. He is Co-Chair of the firm’s national Wage and Hour practice group. A former Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Wage and Hour Division, Mr. DeCamp has more than two decades of experience representing employers and trade associations in the most complex and challenging wage and hour litigations, government investigations, and counseling matters.

Additionally, Mr. DeCamp has...

202-861-1819
Jeffrey H. Ruzal, epstein becker green, new york, fair labor, employment
Member

JEFFREY H. RUZAL is a Member in the Labor and Employment practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green.

Mr. Ruzal's experience includes:

  • Representing employers in employment-related litigation in federal courts and before administrative agencies

  • Representing employers in the defense of putative collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and class actions under the New York State Wage and Hour Law

  • ...

212-351-3762
Kevin Sullivan, Epstein Becker Green, labor, employment lawyer
Associate

KEVIN SULLIVAN is an Associate in the Labor and Employment practice, in the Los Angeles office of Epstein Becker Green. Mr. Sullivan focuses his practice on employment law; litigating all forms of employment law cases, with a concentration on wage and hour class and collective actions; and client counseling.

310-557-9576
Law Clerk - Admission Pending

 Jenna D. Russell is a Law Clerk - Admission Pending - in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green.

212-351-3717
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