Speaking at a White House Middle Class Task Force event, Vice President Joe Biden announced that the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and the American Bar Association (ABA) have forged a partnership to help process certain employment-related claims filed with the Division. Starting in December, the WHD will provide workers whose minimum wage, overtime, or family medical leave claims cannot be pursued by the DOL with a toll-free number through which they will be able to obtain the contact information of an ABA-approved attorney in their area. According to the DOL, due to limited resources, the agency is unable to pursue “thousands” of wage and hour claims. The toll-free legal referral service, said Biden, will help workers pursue their cases “in a way that is affordable.” Most of these ABA-vetted lawyers will provide their services on a contingency basis. According to the ABA, this partnership between a federal agency and the private bar is the first of its kind.
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