DOL’s recently created smartphone app, “Eat Shop Sleep,” allows users to search for places to eat, shop and sleep and to read Yelp customer reviews. However, the app also provides users with health, safety and labor highlights. It narrows results by industry, health/labor violations and company name, and also has a “Take Action” button that permits users to report violations to DOL.
A red icon next to the company’s name indicates FLSA violations; a green icon indicates that the company has no violations on its record. When a user chooses a company, the violation is displayed by showing:
- the time period in which the violation(s) was found;
- whether the violation was a child labor violation or an FLSA wage/hour violation;
- whether the company is a repeat offender;
- the number of employees owed backwages from the company;
- the dollar amount owed to employees; and
- any fines or penalties imposed by DOL.
The “Take Action” button also provides DOL contact information (phone number, office locations and a link to an online complaint form), outlines workers’ rights (such as the right to review work records) and provides links to the website of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Information on establishments investigated will be included in the division’s enforcement database, which can be viewed online at http://ogesdw.dol.gov, and the smartphone app, which can be found on the DOL’s app Web page, http://www.dol.gov/dol/apps/winners.htm.
The app is just one of many ways social media is able to influence business behavior and shows how the government is trying to use the power of social media. As a DOL press release explains, “[b]usinesses will have a greater incentive to comply with the law now that their compliance track records are publicly available.”