Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Do you know? DOL to require “compliance plans”

Now we know what the Department of Labor plans to do with the 250 new investigators it recently hired. They are going to sifting through mandatory employer compliance plans looking for violations. Here’s the details, from Steven Greenhouse in last Thursday’s New York Times (with a tip of the hat to Mark Toth’s Manpower Employment Blawg and Philip Miles’s Lawffice Space):

In a move that will affect most American corporations, the Labor Department plans to require companies to prepare and adopt compliance plans aimed at ensuring they do not violate wage, job safety and equal employment laws.

The effort, aimed in part at reducing the incidence of employers not paying overtime and improperly classifying workers as independent contractors, will require them to document many of their decisions and share that information with their workers and the government….

Deputy Labor Secretary Seth Harris said … many specifics of what companies would be required to do had yet to be worked out. The department’s proposed rules are still being drafted, and businesses will have a chance to respond before any final rules are issued. The process is likely to take more than a year.

I have to say, this one caught me completely off-guard. If businesses are not taking wage and hour compliance seriously, they better starting thinking about it now.

One more thought—this plan will be a boon to all management-side labor and employment lawyers. This story is developing, and bears further monitoring as the DOL works out the specifics. If you want to get a head-start on compliance, let me suggest KJK’s proprietary 200-point HR and employment practices audit.

Presented by Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, with offices in Cleveland and Columbus. For more information, contact Jon Hyman, a partner in our Labor & Employment group, at (216) 736-7226 or jth@kjk.com.