Department of Labor collects over $1.3 million in unpaid wages

In efforts to strengthen compliance with labor rules and regulations, the Department of Labor has successfully collected a total of $1,360,267 in unpaid wages due to employees of various employers.

According to Governor Ralph Torres, withholding earned wages and unlawful overtime business practices affect the economy in the long run.

“The stability and growth potential of the Commonwealth’s economy depend upon active participation by our workforce. The Commonwealth has a relatively small population and an even smaller available workforce population. I recognize the diligence and hard work of the Department of Labor in ensuring compliance and fair labor practices as we move forward to ensure adequate and meaningful opportunities for all our workers,” he said.

Noting that economic development and workforce support are synonymous, the Department has tremendously improved and increased its enforcement activities ensuring employer compliance of CNMI employment laws such as in the areas of increased percentage of workforce participation rates, submission of required reports from employers to the CNMI Department of Labor such as that of the quarterly workforce listing and annual submission of a workforce plan which is in line with the transition of foreign workers by prioritizing the hiring of status qualified participants.

Governor Torres expresses that the Department has instilled employee confidence while increasing awareness of employee employment rights.

“With these assurances and continuous community outreach, the Department has seen an increase of labor complaints and unpaid wage recoveries holding businesses accountable and collecting for employees on their owed wages. The increase in mediating labor complaints has definitely improved as we move forward with our economy on the rebound,” he said.

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