Publication Date



The FLSA sets federal minimum wage and overtime pay requirements applicable to millions of U.S. workers and allows workers to sue employers for violating these requirements. Questions have been raised about the effect of FLSA lawsuits on employers and workers and about WHD's enforcement and compliance assistance efforts as the number of lawsuits has increased. This report (1) describes what is known about the number of FLSA lawsuits filed, and (2) examines how WHD plans its FLSA enforcement and compliance assistance efforts. To address these objectives, GAO analyzed federal district court data from fiscal years 1991 to 2012 and reviewed selected documents from a representative sample of lawsuits filed in federal district court in fiscal year 2012. GAO also reviewed DOL’s planning and performance documents and interviewed DOL officials, as well as stakeholders, including federal judges, plaintiff and defense attorneys who specialize in FLSA cases, officials from organizations representing workers and employers, and academics about FLSA litigation trends and WHD's enforcement and compliance assistance efforts.


Suggested Citation
U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2013). Fair Labor Standards Act: The Department of Labor should adopt a more systematic approach to developing Its guidance (GAO-14-69). Washington, DC: Author.