Every year, the Wage and Hour Division conducts tens of thousands of investigations, helping hundreds of thousands of workers and recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in back wages for them.
The stories of these workers help remind us why our mission to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce, and to ensure compliance with labor laws, is so important. One of those workers is Angela Murphy, a former compliance and safety specialist at ARD Trucking in South Carolina. Angela was working over 40 hours in a week – without overtime pay – and had the courage to stand up for her rights and file a complaint with us.
“My husband had been diagnosed with cancer and our medical expenses increased significantly. As his illness worsened, I was working on-call after my regular shift and on weekends without additional pay,” Murphy said. Frustrated by the unfairness of her unpaid hours and concerned for her husband, she considered her options.
“I read the Department of Labor’s poster at work and then went to the Wage and Hour Division’s website to file a complaint,” Murphy said. “The complaint process was easy and the investigator was amazing. He did a thorough and efficient job investigating the company. Most importantly, he took me seriously and kept his word by doing what he said he would do.”
Ultimately, Angela received more than $15,000 in back wages and damages because of ARD Trucking’s overtime violations.
“My voice was heard and the company agreed to pay what my coworkers and I were due. The money I received helped my family in many ways because my husband is still battling cancer,” said Murphy. “To say I am grateful is an understatement. I’m very thankful for the Department of Labor, especially the investigator who handled my case.”
By bravely sharing their stories, workers like Angela help other workers find their voices when they experience injustice in the workplace.
“I want to encourage people to speak up when they’re being treated unfairly,” Murphy added. “The Department of Labor truly is there to help workers. They’ll put your needs first.”
Whether you’re in a situation like Angela’s – with unpaid wages – or you experience another form of injustice, such as denial of family and medical leave or retaliation for exercising your rights as a worker in the logistics industry, we encourage you to call us confidentially at 1-866-487-9243. No matter where you’re from or which language you speak, we’re here to answer your questions and take action if your rights have been violated.