U.S. Department of Labor: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States
Department of Labor
Seal of the Department of Labor
Agency overview
Formed March 4, 1913
Headquarters Frances Perkins Building
200 Constitution AvenueNW
Washington, DC
38°53′33.13″N 77°0′51.94″W / 38.8925361°N 77.0144278°W / 38.8925361; -77.0144278
Employees 17,477 (2010)
Annual budget $5 billion (2009); $104.5 Billion (2010)
Agency executives Hilda Solis, Secretary
Seth Harris, Deputy Secretary

The United States Department of Labor is a Cabinet department of the United States government responsible for occupational safety, wage and hour standards, unemployment insurance benefits, re-employment services, and some economic statistics. Many U.S. states also have such departments. The department is headed by the United States Secretary of Labor. Hilda Solis is the current Secretary of Labor. Seth Harris is the current Deputy Secretary of Labor.

The Frances Perkins Building, the Department of Labor headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The purpose of the Department of Labor (DOL) is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights. In carrying out this mission, the Department of Labor administers and enforces more than 180 federal laws. These mandates and the regulations that implement them cover many workplace activities for about 10 million employers and 125 million workers.

The Department’s headquarters is housed in the Frances Perkins Building, which gained its name in 1980 on April 10, 1980 when President Jimmy Carter renamed the "The New Labor Building" in honor of Frances Perkins, the Secretary of Labor from 1933–1945 and the first female cabinet secretary in U.S. history.[1]



The U.S. Congress first established a Bureau of Labor in 1888 under the Department of the Interior. Later, the Bureau of Labor became an independent Department of Labor but lacked executive rank. It became a bureau again within the Department of Commerce and Labor, which was established February 15, 1903. President William Howard Taft signed the March 4, 1913 bill establishing the Department of Labor as a Cabinet-level Department.

President Lyndon Johnson asked Congress to consider the idea of reuniting Commerce and Labor.[citation needed] He argued that the two departments had similar goals and that they would have more efficient channels of communication in a single department. However, Congress never acted on it.

In the 1970s, following the Civil Rights Movement, the Labor Department under Secretary George P. Shultz was instrumental in promoting racial diversity in unions.[2]

Frances Perkins Building

During the Kennedy Administration planning was undertaken to consolidate most of the DOL's offices, then scattered around more than 20 locations. As part of the effort to improve and redevelop the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor, it was decided to create an entirely new building for the Labor Department in that area. The building was designed by the joint venture of Brooks, Barr, Graeber and White of Austin, Texas, and Pitts, Mebane, Phelps and White of Houston, Texas. The principal construction contractor was the J.W. Bateson Company of Dallas, Texas.

Construction on the New Labor Building (NDOL) began in the middle 1960s. When finished in 1975 the new building contained over one million square feet of usable space and cost $95 million. It was one of the first Federal buildings to obtain "air rights" so that it could be constructed over a freeway, I-395. The ceremonial cornerstone for the NDOL was laid on October 18, 1974, with President Ford and Secretary Peter Brennan presiding. In February 1975 the first wave of employees moved in.

After a number of years, the name “New Labor Building” no longer seemed appropriate. Finally, an employee suggested that the building should be renamed for the former Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins, and the idea was warmly accepted. The ceremony to rename the NDOL and dedicate it has the Frances Perkins Building was held on April 10, 1980 – the 100th anniversary of her birth. President Jimmy Carter and Secretary of Labor Ray Marshall presided over the ceremony.

Operating units

Other organizational units within the Department:

  • Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults With Disabilities (PTFEAD)
  • Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ)
  • Office of Congressional & Intergovernmental Affairs (OCIA)
  • Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management (OASAM)
  • Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy (OASP)
  • Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO)
  • Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO)
  • Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
  • Office of Small business Programs (OSBP)
  • Office of the Solicitor (SOL)
  • Office of the Secretary (OSEC)
  • Office of the 21st Century Workforce (21CW)
  • Wirtz Labor Library

Related legislation

See also


  1. ^ http://www.apwu.org/join/women2008/lbportraits/portraits-labor-perkins.htm
  2. ^ Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The '70s. New York, New York: Basic Books. p. 243. ISBN 0465041957. 

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From Wikiquote

The Frances Perkins Building, the Department of Labor headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The United States Department of Labor is a Cabinet department of the United States government responsible for occupational safety, wage and hour standards, unemployment insurance benefits, re-employment services, and some economic statistics. Many w:U.S. states also have such departments. The department is headed by the United States Secretary of Labor. Hilda Solis is the current secretary.


Mission Statement
The mission of ESA is to enhance the welfare and protect the rights of American workers.
As an enforcement and benefit delivery Agency, ESA is composed of four major programs: the Wage and Hour Division (WHD); the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP); the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP); and the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS).
The Wage and Hour Division enhances the welfare and protects the rights of the nation's workers through enforcement of several Acts: the Federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act; the Family and Medical Leave Act; the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act; the Employee Polygraph Protection Act; field sanitation and housing standards in the Occupational Safety and Health Act; and, a number of employment standards and worker protections provided in the Immigration and Nationality Act. Additionally, the WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act and the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to Federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs increases equal employment opportunities (EEO) for employees of Federal contractors. Through Executive Order 11246, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, OFCCP enforces equal opportunity standards and affirmative action for women, minorities, Vietnam era veterans, and persons with disabilities employed by the more than 200,000 contractors that participate in the Federal procurement process.
The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs mitigates the financial burden on certain workers, or their dependents or survivors, resulting from work-related injury, disease, or death, through the provision of wage replacement and cash benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and other benefits. The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) program provides income and medical cost protection and return-to-work services to civilian employees of the Federal Government injured at work, and to certain other designated groups. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) program provides similar protection to private sector workers engaged in certain maritime and related employment. The Black Lung Benefits program provides protection to the nation’s coal miners totally disabled by pneumoconiosis or to their survivors. The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program delivers benefits to eligible employees and former employees of the Department of Energy, its contractors and subcontractors or to certain survivors of such individuals, as provided in the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. The mission of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program also includes delivering benefits to certain beneficiaries of Section five of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

The Office of Labor-Management Standards promotes internal union democracy and financial integrity and protects certain rights of union members in administering and enforcing provisions of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) and related laws. Under the LMRDA, OLMS resolves union member complaints concerning union officer elections, union trusteeships, and other matters pertaining to safeguards for union democracy; administers statutory safeguards for union funds and assets; and makes reports required of labor unions and others available for public disclosure. The Division of Statutory Programs assures that appropriate arrangements are in place to protect the rights of affected mass transit workers when federal funds are used to acquire, improve, or operate a transit system. These statutory requirements are set forth in section 5333(b) of Title 49 U.S. Code (formerly section 13(c) of the Federal Transit Act. [1]


c. 1901 All the affairs of the village and the conditions of living are regulated entirely by the mill company. Practically speaking, the company owns everything and controls everything, and to a large extent controls everybody in the mill village. From a U.S. Department of Labor report on life in a North Carolina "company town."

External links


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