United States Department of Labor


United States Department of Labor
United States
Department of Labor
US-DeptOfLabor-Seal.svg
Seal of the Department of Labor
Agency overview
Formed March 4, 1913
Headquarters Frances Perkins Building
200 Constitution Avenue NW
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 $126.3 billion (2009); $104.5 Billion (2010)[1]
Agency executives Hilda Solis, Secretary
Seth D. Harris, Deputy Secretary
Website
www.dol.gov

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 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, named in honor of Frances Perkins, the Secretary of Labor from 1933–1945 and the first female cabinet secretary in U.S. history.[2]

Contents

History

The Frances Perkins Building in Washington, D.C., serves as headquarters for the U.S. Department of Labor.

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.[3]

During the John F. Kennedy Administration, planning was undertaken to consolidate most of the department's offices, then scattered around more than 20 locations. Construction on the "New Labor Building" began in the middle 1960s and finished in 1975. It was named in honor of Perkins in 1980.

During 2010, a local of the American Federation of Government Employees stated their unhappiness that a longstanding flextime program reduced under the George W. Bush administration had not been restored under the Obama administration.[4] Department officials said the program was modern and fair and that it was part of ongoing contract negotiations with the local.[4] In August 2010, the Partnership for Public Service ranked the Department of Labor 23rd out of 31 large agencies in its annual "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" list.[5] In December 2010, Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis was named the Chair of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness[6], of which Labor has been a member since its beginnings in 1987.

In July 2011, the Department was rocked by the resignation of Ray Jefferson, Assistant Secretary for VETS, in a contracting scandal.[7][8][9][10]

DOL Agencies

  • 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 Public Engagement (OPE)
  • Office of the Solicitor (SOL)
  • Office of the Secretary (OSEC)

Other

  • Wirtz Labor Library

Related legislation

See also

References

External links


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