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Shannon's Story

When I first became an investigator, I was so excited to be able to serve my country in a way that created fairness and equality for everyone. I loved the law and all that it meant to Americans. I remember thinking, I’m really going to make a difference and do something that will help others. You see, that was always my passion, to HELP! That was my niche, and I had finally found it in a way that was meaningful to me and to others. 


The role itself was arduous, sometimes people both employers and employees did not want to cooperate. However, I found that some slight negotiations and insightful talks eased most, and they became willing to help me help them. There were also a lot of political and managerial issues that bothered me, nonetheless; I pushed on and became someone that both myself and the agency could be proud of. Sometimes, I didn’t agree with what I found, it’s never easy seeing both employers and employees abused and unsheltered from a law that was written in 1938. Yet, I played my role like a seamless actress. I made mistakes and some of those mistakes were huge, but eventually, with a kind manager and some insightful discussions, I righted my wrongs. I became ok with who I was and eventually I was ready to take on the world. 


When I became a Senior Wage and Hour Investigator, I began to feel that was I was doing wasn’t always fair to the employer or firm that I was investigating. Watching some businesses close and people lose their livelihood wasn’t easy for me. But, this was after all, a law that was written many decades ago, and there really was very little protection for firms thinking they were doing the right thing. I watched the pain in employers' eyes as they realized they owed employees more than the company made a year. There were so many bankruptcies and closures it was astonishing. Then I realized, Shannon with Wage and Hour being such a tiny, unknown and unheard-of agency, how can firms possibly KNOW the law?


There were and are so many gray areas, that even an experienced senior investigator struggled at times to understand. So I asked myself, how then can I help employers, and educate them? Once again, my desire to help became stronger than ever, and I realized that working on the other side of the table would help me make a difference and add value to struggling or established businesses. 


I worked hard and eventually retired feeling that I had made a significant difference in Louisiana. I made peace with myself and the contributions I had made while working for the Wage and Hour Division. I decided I would read, write and just travel the world after retiring but….The urge to help came back stronger than ever. So much so that I KNEW I had to do something. My mind kept leading me back to the agency, but I didn’t want to go back there. I wanted to make a more impactful difference and felt that I had done what I could with Wage and Hour. 


I loved the law so much that I realized the best way to help was to start with the head-the firm. I decided to become a Wage and Hour Consultant and help employers understand the Wage and Hour laws as they relate to my favorite law which was the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA. 


Becoming a Consultant has enriched my life in so many ways. Helping businesses come into compliance is not only rewarding but I have finally satisfied my niche! I love sitting on the same side with the employer. I truly enjoy teaching and helping people to understand this old and complex law. It gives me great satisfaction when I speak to folks and help them come into compliance. I love the light in their eyes when they realize what they’ve done wrong and are ready to make it right. 

As a Consultant, I have worked with both large and small firms and assisted them with coming into compliance. Because the FLSA is a Federal law, I can work with any firm and lend my hand in any state. I love and enjoy my work and can be an asset to any firm that hires me because of my in-depth knowledge of the FLSA. Due to my contribution on this level, I am finally happy, joyous and free.

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