On December 13, 2010, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department Labor announced an “Atttorney Referral System” that it will maintain with the American Bar Association. When FLSA or FMLA charging parties are informed that the Wage and Hour Division is not pursuing their complaint, they will be given a toll-free number to contact a newly created “ABA-Approved Attorney Referral System.” In addition, according to the DOL, the Wage and Hour Division will provide “relevant information and documents” to the charging parties and their attorneys.

What this means, of course, is that potential plaintiffs will be given easy access to FLSA attorneys. In addition, plaintiff’s attorneys will be able to obtain all the material that the DOL has gathered in its investigation. This will result in even further FLSA and FMLA lawsuits against employers.

Employers should take this opportunity to have their FLSA and FMLA policies and practices reviewed to ensure compliance with the law. No employer wants to be in the position to have a case referred to an attorney through the DOL.