The Department of Labor has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a proposed information collection request (ICR) that would determine the degree of employee knowledge concerning their rights governed by the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). As stated in the notice published in the May 8, 2012 edition of the Federal Register, the purpose of the ICR – the 2012 Wage and Hour Division and Occupational Safety and Health Administration Surveys Workers' Voice in the Workplace – would be to “gauge the current level of workers' voice in the workplace and factors affecting workers' voice as it relates to WHD and OSHA administered laws.” The Federal Register notice explains further that:

The DOL working definition of voice in the workplace is the worker's ability to access information on his or her rights in the workplace, the worker's understanding of those rights, and the worker's ability to exercise those rights without fear of recrimination. The surveys will measure each of these items, first individually and then in combination, to come up with an overall measure of voice. The DOL also hopes to learn how voice is related to workers' perceptions of employer noncompliance, such as whether or not particular dimensions of voice correlate to workers' perceptions of noncompliance. The study will also be useful in examining how noncompliance in one area, such as safety, is related to voice in the workplace and noncompliance in another area, such as wages.

The OMB will need to review and approve the DOL’s proposed voluntary survey before use. Comments about this ICR may be sent by June 7, 2012 to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for DOL-Wage and Hour Division, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, Telephone: 202-395-6929/Fax: 202-395-6881 or via email to: OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov.