Department of Labor - Explained
What is the Dep't of Labor?
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What is the Department Of Labor (DOL)?
The Department of Labor is a cabinet-level department of the United States Federal government overseeing the matters related to labor and promoting healthy working condition for the workers. It is responsible for administering and enforcing the federal labor standards and laws related to occupational safety, wage and hour standards, working condition, retirement benefits, workplace discrimination, unemployment, etc. The United States Secretary of labor heads the department. A separate independent labor department was created in 1913. The department is headquartered in the Frances Perkins Building in Washington DC. The building is named after Frances Perkins, the Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945.
Back To: HUMAN RESOURCES, EMPLOYMENT, & LABOR
What does the Department Of Labor Do?
The US Department of Labor aims to foster, promote and develop the wellbeing of the workers, job seekers and retired persons living in the United States. They work for improving the working conditions for the wage earners, advancing the opportunities for profitable employment and protecting the rights of work-related benefit. They help employer recruit people and encourage collective bargaining. The Department of Labor is responsible for administering more 180 federal laws and thousands of federal regulations. These laws and regulations are important for creating a healthy work atmosphere for the workers and ensure their benefits. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), responsible for collecting and publishing labor market and economic data, is administered by the US Department of Labor.
History and Background
In the post-civil war US, during 1860s labor leaders started lobbying for creating a labor department for protecting the rights of the wage earners. In 1984, the Bureau of Labor Statistics was established as part of the Department of the Interior. The bureau was responsible for collecting information related to employment and the workplace. In 1988, President Chester Arthur created a non-cabinet level Department of Labor. On February 14, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt elevated the Department of Labor to cabinet-level and created the Department of Commerce and Labor. President Roosevelt was of the thought that business and labor should work together for the prosperity of both. However, the labor leader felt that business and labor was working towards opposite directions and under the pressure from various labor movements, a separate cabinet-level department was created in 1913. Since the creation of the department, it has assumed control and responsibilities related to various aspects of the workplace and labor market. In June 2018, the Trump administration proposed to merge the two cabinet-level departments of the United States federal government; Department of Labor and Department of Education. According to the proposal, the department will be known as the Department of Education and the Workforce. However, this proposal was met by criticisms from various quarters.
Bureaus, boards, offices, programs, and corporation
The Department of Labor administers several bureaus, boards, offices, programs, and corporation. Those are as follows:
- Administrative Review Board (ARB)
- Benefits Review Board (BRB)
- Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB)
- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
- Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiative (CFOI)
- Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
- Employees' Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB)
- Ombudsman for the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOMBD)
- Employment and Training Administration (ETA)
- Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
- Office of Inspector General (OIG)
- Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)
- Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP)
- Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS)
- Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
- Women's Bureau (WB)
- Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
- PBGC Office of the Inspector General
- Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ)
- Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs (OCIA)
- Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management (OASAM)
- Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO)
- Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy (OASP)
- Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO)
- Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
- Office of Public Affairs (OPA)
- Office of Public Liaison (OPL)
- Office of the Solicitor (SOL)
- Office of the Secretary (OSEC)
- Office of the Deputy Secretary
Laws and Regulations
The Department of Labor is responsible for enforcing over 180 federal laws and thousands of regulations related to labor and workforce. In 1916, the Adamson Act was passed that ensured eight hours work a day for the railway workers. Fair Labor Standard Act is one of the most important laws that are enforced by the Department of Labor. This protects the interest of the workers against certain unfair pay practices and work regulations. This law ensures the minimum wage and overtime payment. According to this law, the overtime pay must be one and a half times the usual pay rate. The law also deals with the issue of child labor and limits the number of working hours for people under 16 years of age. This Act prevents people younger than the 18 years of age from working in certain hazardous industries. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is another Act enforceable by the Department of Labor. This Act establishes minimum standards for pension plans in private industry. Occupational Safety and Health Act ensures the workers get a work environment that is free from recognized hazards, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, excessive noise levels, mechanical dangers, heat or cold stress, or unsanitary conditions.
- Employment Law (Intro)
- Who is an employee under the employment law?
- What characterizes the employer-employee, At-Will relationship?
- What are the major employment laws?
- What are the taxation requirements imposed upon employers?
- What is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?
- Exempt Employee
- NonExempt Employees
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?
- Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (WARN Act)?
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)?
- Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)?
- Active Participant Status
- Defined Benefit Plan
- Pension Plan
- Accumulated Benefit Obligation
- Defined Contribution Plan
- Cash Balance Plan
- Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
- Blackout Period
- Benefit Allocation Method
- Multinational Pooling
- DB(k) Plan Definition
- Employee Contribution Plan
- Unit Benefit Plan
- Top Hat Plan
- Non-Discrimination Rule
- Alternative Minimum Cost Method
- Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)?
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Workers Compensation Laws?
- Workers Compensation Coverage A Definition
- Workers Compensation Coverage B Definition
- Federal Unemployment Tax Act
- State Unemployment Tax Act
- Voluntary Termination
- Employment Verification Laws?
- Form I-9
- Workplace Privacy Laws?
- Background Checks
- Davis-Bacon Act
- Loudermill Rights
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit
- Work for Hire Agreement (Independent Contractor Agreement)
- Engagement Letter Definition
- Non-Compete Agreement
- Non-Solicitation Clause
Wrongful Termination Claim
- What are labor laws?
- Organized Labor
- Collective Bargaining Agreement
- Labor Union
- What are the major labor laws?
- Department of Labor
- What is the National Labor Relations Act?
- Unfair Labor Practice
- Right to Work Laws
- Labor Management Relations Act
- Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act