Washington Wage and Hour Investigations: What you need to know

Washington's Department of Labor and Industries may investigate and gather wage and hour data, enter and inspect businesses and their records, make transcriptions of those records, and question employees (WA Rev. Code Sec. 49.46.040). Any employer that refuses to admit Department personnel, or that willfully neglects or refuses to provide requested information relevant to the investigation, will be guilty of a misdemeanor (WA Rev. Code Sec. 49.48.040). Employers that are found in violation of wage and hour provisions are guilty of a misdemeanor (WA Rev. Code Sec. 49.48.020) and must pay the affected employee the wages due, as well as costs and reasonable attorney's fees (WA Rev. Code Sec. 49.46.090).
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Bonds. Under certain circumstances, the Department may require the employer to give a bond to ensure that future wages will be paid. If the employer fails to provide the bond, the Department may start a suit against the employer in superior court. The court may enjoin the employer from doing business in the state until the requirement is met or may make additional orders to compel compliance (WA Rev. Code Sec. 49.48.060).
Notification by mail. After being informed of a wage claim against an employer or former employer, the Department will notify that employer or former employer by mail. Failing to pay the claim or make a satisfactory explanation to the Department within 30 days will result in a penalty of 10 percent of the amount found to be due (WA Rev. Code Sec. 49.48.060).
Prevailing wages. A complaint regarding the payment of prevailing wages prompts an investigation by the Department. A contractor or subcontractor in violation of prevailing wage payment provisions may be fined up to $1,000 or 25 ...

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