Employment Law Compliance: It Is Not Your Father’s USDOL

by Michael Haberman on September 13, 2010 · 0 comments


I know there have been some arguments amongst HR people calling for reform in the HR field to have “legal” handle compliance and let HR deal with “people/talent” issues. My reaction to that statement is that it works very well in a company that has “legal”. However, far many more companies do not have an in-house legal department and to go to outside to legal counsel would be very expensive. So the HR practioner has to be the “compliance officer.” And in today’s world that is NOT a simple issue. As I have stated many times in this blog the world of employment compliance is much more complicated and dangerous. The USDOL has hired 250 more wage & hour investigators, another 200 or so OSHA investigators, another 100 or so contract compliance officers for the OFCCP, the IRS is putting on more people to investigate independent contractor situations, the EEOC has been given several million dollars to beef up its efforts, ICE is getting hot and bothered about I-9s and all of them say the fines will be increased heavily and they are looking for CRIMINAL cases not civil remedies. And State DOLs are jumping on the bandwagon too.

One well known “Co-Employer” or PEO, which used to advertise their services as a way to recruit and retain employees is now advertising using the phrases “Trampled by overpowering employment law”, “steeper fines”, “harsher penalties” and “choking on red tape”. So people are starting to sit up and pay attention. You should too…

I borrowed from the old Oldsmobile commercial for my title. This is not the same USDOL from 20 years ago. This one has stated you as an employer are stealing from your workers and they are out to get you. So beware and remember this is the US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, NOT THE US DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYERS. Hone those compliance skills and keep up to date on the ever changing world of employment law.

And, by the way, you had better pay attention to the National Labor Relations Board too. They also are not on your side and may make rules changes that may make it much easier for someone to organize you employees. You make wake up one day and have a union in your lap.

Great way to start a week huh?….

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