What does the Department of Labor do, you may wonder? They are advocates for workers and job seekers, helping us pursue happiness through self sufficiency through employment.
Department of Labor
To foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights”
Reading the DOL mission statement, something pops out, “profitable employment.” The DOL has secured a minimum wage in America at $7.25 per hour = $290 per week = $1160 per month = $13,920 per year. That is intended to be a starting position, although there is almost nowhere in the nation where a person can get a place to live and cover living expenses to get to work at that rate.
Therefore, the Department of Labor is one organization in the Federal structure that has a lot to do with guiding policy toward sustainable economics.
That should be in their mission statement and it is not.
The DOL did manage to make so that when people lose their jobs of change them, they have the right to pay for insurance to cover the gap in transition. That was a big deal, though should not have been.
The DOL covers a lot of practical topics that read like a list of things about which organized labor are concerned.
- Back Pay
- Educational Level & Pay
- Government Contracts
- Hazard Pay
- Holiday Pay
- Industrial Homework/Piecework
- Last Paycheck
- Merit Pay
- Minimum Wage
- Overtime Pay
- Recordkeeping & Reporting
- Severance Pay
- Subminimum Wage
The Department of Labor enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets basic minimum wage and overtime pay standards. These standards are enforced by the Department's
"Wage and Hour Division.
- Minimum Wage
- Current Minimum Wage: $7.25 per hour
- Applies to workers covered by the FLSA
- Effective as of July 24, 2009
- Overtime Pay: Not less than one and one-half times regular rate of pay
- Required after 40 hours of work in a workweek.
- Certain exemptions apply to specific types of businesses or specific types of work.
- Minimum Wage by State (Interactive map)
- Fair Labor Standards Act
While the FLSA does set the minimum wage for certain workers, it does not, however, require any of the following:
- Severance pay
- Sick leave
So, it will be interesting to see how Thomas Perez addresses the job as a first generation Dominican American. Without leadership to pursue sustainable economics at the worker level, do you think that he has a clue about the need for that?