The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced a contest yesterday to individuals interested in developing an app that would integrate the Department’s public enforcement data along with consumer rating websites, geo-positioning tools and other data. The purpose of the app is to allow consumers and job seekers to see if a business they want to frequent is in compliance with federal labor laws. It would also allow individuals to get in touch with the Labor Department if they have questions.

Really, an app contest? It sounds to me like the Doritos Crash The Super Bowl contest in search of a funny commercial, but this time it is actually the government trying to encourage compliance with the FLSA and to keep the public informed.

The contest ends on October, 11, 2013, and the winner will be announced around November 2. Information on the contest is available on the Department of Labor’s website.

Business owners should pay attention to this contest and potential app. Consumers, employees, or prospective employees will soon have easier access to compliance information about your business. Most businesses don’t intentionally try to violate the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, and this new app will have the potential to make non-compliance information a viral nightmare. It may be a good time for businesses to do a wage and hour audit to ensure compliance with the FLSA.