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U.S. Labor Department Launches Smartphone App Contest

By SHRM Online staff  7/12/2013
As part of the 75th anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour division announced, on July 9, 2013, a contest to develop a smartphone application that will change the way the public can use departmental enforcement data.

The DOL Fair Labor Data Challenge, which can be found at, calls on contestants to create a smartphone app that integrates the department’s publicly available enforcement data with consumer-ratings websites, geopositioning Web tools and other relevant data sets, such as those available from state health boards. The winning app is expected to be creative, innovative, easy to use and incorporate data from

“The app we would like to see developed would work with existing social media and would allow consumers to see if an establishment that they want to frequent has been in compliance with federal labor laws,” said Laura Fortman, principal deputy administrator of the Wage and Hour division. “The app could also prove a useful tool for job seekers and for companies that are deciding which firms they may want to do business with. It could also help individuals get in touch with the Labor Department if they have any questions.”

To facilitate this challenge, the Labor Department recently launched, a website that makes it easier for software developers to incorporate department data into online and mobile applications through published application program interfaces and software development kits.

The website and contest are part of the Department of Labor’s ongoing efforts to increase transparency, participation and collaboration through the administration’s Open Government Initiative.

Submissions will be accepted through Oct. 11, 2013. Judges will announce a winner on or about Nov. 2. The winner will receive a complimentary trip to Washington, D.C., for the award ceremony and meet with government officials and private-sector entrepreneurs.

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