In labor news:

Six Gulf Coast staffing agencies have agreed to pay thousands of workers nearly $3.5 million in back wages after U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators found part of their wages were mislabeled as “per diem” payments as reimbursement for expenses they never incurred. Federal investigators found the agencies owed back wages to 3,263 workers—welders, electricians, pipe fitters, and other craftspeople—on maritime vessels and other oil and gas industry projects. Of the six firms involved, three are headquartered in Louisiana and one has an office in Baton Rouge. Wage and Hour Division Administrator David Weil states in the DOL press release on the case that, “Workers don’t often complain about receiving per diem pay in place of regular wages because they believe they make more money being paid this way. The truth is these workers are losing out. They are not getting all of the short- and long-term benefits their employer owes them.” This benefit avoidance includes workers’ comp, Social Security and overtime.

Read more from the DOL here.

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