The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor has announced a new initiative, the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program, an effort to encourage the self-reporting of wage and hour violations.
The PAID program facilitates resolution of potential violations, without litigation, and ensures employees promptly receive the wages they are owed. The intent is to expedite resolution of “inadvertent overtime and minimum wage violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.”
Under the program, the Wage and Hour Division will oversee resolution of the potential violations by assessing the amount of wages due and supervising their payment to employees.
The Division will not impose penalties or liquidated damages to finalize a settlement for employers who choose to participate in the PAID program and proactively work with the Division to fix and resolve their potential compensation errors.
Employers may not participate in the PAID program if they are in litigation or currently under investigation by the Division for the practices at issue. Employers likewise cannot use the pilot program repeatedly to resolve the same potential violations, as this program is designed to identify and correct potentially non-compliant practices.
The program requires employers to review the Division’s compliance assistance materials, “carefully audit their pay practices, and agree to correct the pay practices at issue going forward.”
“The PAID program will ensure that more employees receive back wages they are owed—faster,” a statement from the agency says. “ Employees will receive 100 percent of the back wages paid, without having to pay any litigation expenses, attorneys’ fees, or other costs that may be applicable to private actions.”
The Division will implement the pilot program nationwide for approximately six months, after which it will evaluate the pilot program and consider future options. The Division encourages employers to proactively audit their compensation practices to identify potential non-compliant practices. More information concerning the pilot program is available online.