The US Department of Labor is certainly taking a different approach to resolution of wage disputes with a new pilot program the department announced this week. DOL announced the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program on Tuesday of this week as a vehicle that will be operated by the Wage and Hour Division to help employees get all the wages due them and also help employers avoid costly litigation and civil penalties for wage-and-hour violations. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta explained to a Congressional hearing on Tuesday that PAID is designed to encourage employers to audit their own books for potential violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If violations are found, the business can pay workers the wages owed but not subject themselves to fines and expensive litigation. Acosta summarized the thrust of the program by saying “If an employer comes forward and says, ‘I made a mistake,’ we should make it simple to pay up.” The pilot will operate for the next 6 months after which the program will be re-evaluated and possibly made permanent. David Weil, former head of the Wage and Hour Division under the Obama administration criticized the pilot program as being too lenient on employers.