Are You Prepared For The 2010 Labor Law Police?

Updated: November 29, 2009

The Wage and Hour Division who is in charge of the federal minimum wage and overtime laws, enforcing the nation's labor laws on recordkeeping, youth employment and special employment, family and medical leave, migrant workers, lie detector tests, workers protections in certain temporary worker programs, and the prevailing wages for government service and construction contracts. Wage and Hour Division will use these funds to hire 200 new field investigators. A DOL press release states, "with these increases, Labor's worker protection agencies will be able to vigorously protect wages and working conditions of the 135 workers in more than 7.3 million workplaces."

DOL also requests that it receive an increase of approximately $51 million for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Providing this increase in funds will help hire some 160 new enforcement staff, many of whom will be bilingual and have the ability to communicate with staff in the changing workplace.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) will be looking at an increase also to their budget of $27 million in 2010. This will increase the strength of the OFCCP's overall enforcement posture and commitment to strong enforcement of the three legal authorities: Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended. The DOL also states that a significant percentage of the budget will support enforcement and outreach efforts related to compensation.

This update is the latest challenge employers face in running their business. For years, HR Allen Consulting Services has assisted employers in crafting compliant employee handbooks, labor law compliance, FLSA-compliant policies and practices and affirmative action compliance. Now, with the new increases to DOL and an increase of labor law cops, employers can expect to face additional pressure from the government.

Employers should review these policies and procedures before a government compliance officer arrives at their premises:

  • Classification of exempt, nonexempt, and independent contract workers
  • Commissions, bonuses, incentive payments, and other compensation programs
  • Overtime pay calculation
  • Assignment of wages
  • Wage garnishments
  • Family and medical leave
  • Safety; and
  • Recordkeeping requirements
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