Vermont Wage and Hour Investigations: What you need to know

The Vermont Department of Labor and Industry has the authority to investigate wage complaints, examine employers' records, attempt to arrange a settlement between employers and employees, and collect amounts due from employers if a settlement cannot be reached (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 342a).
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Records. Employers must keep records of the hours worked by and the wages paid to each employee. Those records are open to the Department's inspection at any reasonable time (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 393). An employer that fails to keep required records or that refuses to allow the Department access to the place of employment and the employer's records will be fined $100 (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 394).
Other penalties. If the Department determines that unpaid wages were willfully withheld, then the Department may collect up to twice the amount of unpaid wages, with half of the figure going to the employee and the other half going to the Department to offset administrative and collection costs (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 342a). An employer that pays any employee less than the minimum wage may be fined up to $100 for each day the wage law is violated (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 394). The penalty for nonpayment of wages is $500, imprisonment for up to 1 year, or both (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 345).

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