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US Department of Labor, Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office establish partnership to protect workers’ rights

ANN ARBOR, MI –The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office have signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding to establish a formal partnership to enforce workers’ rights, conduct joint investigations and outreach efforts, and share information.

“This first-of-its-kind agreement between the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and a Michigan prosecutor’s office will facilitate coordination on investigations by federal and Washtenaw County agents as they collaborate and determine the need for local or federal enforcement actions,” said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Michael Lazzeri in Chicago. “Our partnership will allow our organizations to protect workers in the county better and hold employers who violate workers’ rights responsible.”

The agreement enables the division to conduct joint outreach presentations, provide the community with informational publications, allow side-by-side comparisons of overlapping legal provisions and jurisdictions, and cross-train investigators and staff at least once yearly.

“The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office is dedicated to pursuing justice when people are harmed, and I am excited that we have made further progress in fighting for worker protection. This MOU provides another tool to work with federal partners to hold accountable those who have imposed unlawful financial or economic harm to their employees,” said Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit, whose office in 2021 formed an Economic Justice Unit to specifically focus on economic harms, workers’ rights, consumer protection and labor-trafficking.

Learn more about the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Economic Justice Unit. Workers in the county who believe they have suffered economic harm are encouraged to complete and submit a report.

Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.

The division provides information about the Fair Labor Standards Act and other laws it enforces on its website or by contacting the agency at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). The division also offers workers a search tool to determine if they are owed back wages collected by the division. Workers can download the agency’s new Timesheet App, now available for android devices, to ensure hours and pay are accurate.