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U.S. Department of Labor partners with P.R. agencies to share info, resources

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has signed agreements with the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources, Labor Standards Division, and the Office of the Comptroller to establish collaborative relationships to promote compliance with laws where the agencies have common interests, the federal agency announced.

The partnerships’ goals include providing clear, accurate, and easy-to-access compliance outreach to employers, employees, and other stakeholders; conducting coordinated investigations; sharing information consistent with applicable laws; and sharing resources, such as cross-training investigators.

“Since Hurricane María, the Wage and Hour Division’s Caribbean District Office has seen a significant increase in construction and debris removal activities with many newly formed companies undertaking contracts funded privately and under federal contract,” said Wage and Hour Regional Administrator Mark Watson, Jr. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“These partnerships are crucial to making the best use of government resources to ensure protection and compliance,” he said.

The Wage and Hour Division Northeast Regional Administrator Mark Watson, Jr., Puerto Rico Labor Secretary Carlos J. Saavedra, and Comptroller Yesmin M. Valdivieso recently signed the partnership agreements.

The Wage and Hour Division enforces the federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. It also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and the Service Contract Act, among other statutes.

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