On February 1, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor publicly designated Keith Sonderling as Acting Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”). He joined WHD in September 2017 as a Senior Policy Advisor, receiving a promotion to Deputy Administrator last month. Before joining the Department, he was a shareholder in the Gunster law firm in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he represented businesses in labor and employment matters.
During his time with WHD, Sonderling has been a strong proponent of the agency’s Payroll Audit Independent Determination program (known as “PAID”), which under certain circumstances allows employers to self-report violations to WHD and to make the workers whole in exchange for a release. He has also led numerous public listening sessions for stakeholders to express their views about the forthcoming revisions to the regulations implementing the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions to the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”).
Sonderling steps into the role vacated last month by Bryan Jarrett, who led WHD since October 2017. President Trump nominated Cheryl Stanton to serve as Administrator of WHD in September 2017, and she continues to wait for a confirmation vote in the Senate.
WHD enforces the minimum wage, overtime, and child labor provisions of the FLSA, as well as the Family & Medical Leave Act and several prevailing wage statutes applicable to federal government contracts, among other laws.