FLSA Investigations in K-12

Think a Department of Labor audit couldn’t happen to your district?


Think again.


Source: Wage and Hour Compliance Action Data, U.S. Department of Labor. Accessed May 31, 2017.
Note: This data is representative of DOL investigations into FLSA compliance across K-12 organizations only. It does not include private or class action lawsuits filed in federal or state courts.

Data from the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division shows that districts in every state have faced Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) investigations. These investigations can lead to stiff penalties and massive payouts. One large district faced nearly $1.75 million in back wages and civil money penalties.

While 60.8% of investigations into K-12 organizations find FLSA violations, most investigations don’t result in such staggering penalties. The numbers are still nothing to sneeze at, with education organizations paying an average of over $35,000 in back wages and fines when violations are found.

Your district could be at risk.


If you haven’t been audited by the Department of Labor in the past — or if a previous inspection didn’t unearth any violations — don’t let your guard down. When it comes to FLSA actions against K-12 employers, organizations who have not violated FLSA in the past account for 97% of investigations, 94% of violations and 95% of total back wages and fines assessed.

It’s more important than ever for K-12 organizations to be prepared.


If you were faced with a Department of Labor audit tomorrow, would you be confident in your records and processes?

If not, it’s time to take action. Auditors may arrive at your district without prior notice or at random — they don’t need to wait for an employee complaint.


Here’s how to prepare:

  • Validate your employee classifications
  • Ensure that you have complete, organized and accessible employee records
  • Improve your time and attendance tracking for all staff members, even annualized employees
  • Conduct regular, voluntary audits to validate your district’s FLSA compliance

Technology can make all the difference in an audit’s outcome.

Your records need to defend themselves because you might not get a chance to explain them yourself. But many districts struggle to maintain complete, easily-accessible records and timesheets for every employee.

Frontline can help.

Frontline Central

  • Easily store, manage and access employee records online
  • Save time across the district by automating manual, paper-based processes
  • Keep records current by letting employees update their own information
  • Produce, issue and track the completion of employee-specific annual contracts

Time & Attendance

  • Capture, track and manage employee time electronically
  • Improve compliance with state and federal labor laws
  • Manage payroll rules based on contracts, policies and job classifications
  • Reduce labor costs, including overtime, by monitoring staff schedules in advance