Each year, Wage and Hour Division investigations typically result in back wages for hundreds of thousands of workers. But not all of those workers are easy to track down, making it hard for the US Department of Labor to quickly distribute money the DOL has collected for them. But an innovative solution is changing that. Bruno Silva of Silver Spring, Maryland, recently took advantage of Workers Owed Wages, a new online tool that allows workers − or their advocates − to find out if Wage and Hour Division is holding back wages owed to them. Silva discovered that he was owed $1,200 after a DOL investigation found that a former employer had failed to pay him and his coworkers overtime. “We like to call it ‘WOW’” the DOL says in a blog post. By answering a set of simple questions in either English or Spanish, workers can find out in a matter of minutes if they have any hard-earned money being held for them. “Since its launch earlier this year, WOW has helped us put more than $800,000 in the pockets of workers like Bruno who earned that money,” says the DOL.
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