DOL survey to gauge workers’ ‘voice’

December 14, 2011

Washington – The Department of Labor is proposing to survey workers to determine their “voice” in the workplace as it relates to occupational safety and wage laws.

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis has pushed for ensuring employees have a voice – defined as the ability to access information on rights in the workplace, understanding of those rights and the ability to exercise those rights without fear of reprisal.

The survey would focus on measuring those various items, as well as learning how voice is related to workers’ perceptions of employer non-compliance, and how non-compliance in one area (such as occupational safety and health) relates to workplace voice and non-compliance in another area (such as wages).

In a notice (.pdf file) published in the Dec. 12 Federal Register, DOL requested comments on the proposal to conduct a pilot study of 800 employees in the general working population, followed by a full study of 4,000 employees in the general working population.

Comments are due Feb. 10.