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Wage and Hour Division

Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20210


Deputy AdministratorSusan Boone

Chief of StaffMichael Stojsavljevich

The Wage and Hour Division protects and enhances the welfare of the Nation's workers by promoting and achieving compliance with labor standards.


On June 25, 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved Public Law 75–718, which also is cited as the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Among its findings, the U.S. Congress noted that the existence "in industries engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, of labor conditions detrimental to the maintenance of the minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency, and general well-being of workers" causes these adverse labor conditions to spread and perpetuate, burdens commerce and the free flow of goods, undermines fair competition, leads to disputes that burden and obstruct commerce and the free flow of goods, and interferes with the commercial marketing of goods (52 Stat. 1060).

The statute also "created in the Department of Labor a Wage and Hour Division [WHD] which shall be under the direction of an Administrator" who "shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate" (52 Stat. 1061).

Secretary Frances Perkins's order of October 15, 1942, established the Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Divisions (WHPCD) by consolidating the WHD and the Public Contracts Division to administer Federal minimum wage, overtime pay, and child labor laws.

In 1967, the Wage and Labor Standards Administration (WLSA) was established in the Department of Labor to direct and coordinate Federal wage and labor standards programs. On May 5, 1969, by secretarial order, the WHPCD was assigned to the WLSA.

On November 8, 2009, the Employments Standards Administration was dissolved into its four constituent components: The WHD, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, and the Office of Labor Management Standards. Authorities were delegated and responsibilities were assigned to the Administrator of the WHD (74 FR 58836).

The WHD posts an organizational chart on its website.


"Chapter 8—Fair Labor Standards" has been assigned to 29 U.S.C. Title 29 is dedicated to codified statutory material that affects labor.

"Subtitle B—Regulations Relating to Labor" has been assigned to 29 CFR. The fifth chapter (sections 500–899) of that subtitle is dedicated to the WHD.


The WHD enforces Federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor law requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration-related statutes. Additionally, the WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to Federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.

Sources of Information

Archived Records

The "Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States" indicates that WHD records have been assigned to record group 155.

Career Opportunities

In 2019, the WHD ranked 170th among 420 agency subcomponents in the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places To Work Agency Rankings.

Contact Information

The WHD posts contact information on its "Contact Us" web page.

Evaluations / Studies

The WHD posts evaluations and studies on its website in Portable Document Format (PDF).

Federal Register

Significant documents and documents that the WHD recently published in the Federal Register are accessible online.

File a Complaint

Instructions for filing a complaint are available online. Phone, 866-487-9243.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The WHD is required to disclose records that are properly requested in writing by any person. The WHD may withhold information pursuant to nine exemptions and three exclusions contained in the FOIA. The WHD does not require a special FOIA request form. A request must reasonably describe the desired record. Providing its name or title is not mandatory, but the more specific the record description, the more likely that WHD staff can locate it. A FOIA request must be made in writing and may be submitted by courier service, email, fax, or postal mail.


The WHD has posted a historical summary on its website.


The WHD posts national and State news releases.


Contact information for WHD area, district, and regional offices is available on the "WHD Local Offices" web page.


Resources for workers are available on the WHD website.

Resources for employers are available on the WHD website.

Resources for State and local governments are available on the WHD website.

The Sources of Information were updated 10–2020.