Surprise visits to double-check compliance for all employers
The Department of Labor (DOL) is ramping up enforcement of various laws, including the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
Several employers have already been tripped up by FFCRA and what it requires, and the DOL’s been fining them for noncompliance.
The agency’s also going after employers for wage and hour issues involving overtime, hours worked and pay deductions.
Even employers that are doing everything right may receive a visit from the agency to double-check that their procedures are on the up and up.
So it’s key to make sure you’re prepared for a surprise audit.
Actions for Auditor Visits
If the DOL comes knocking, it’s important to act on the auditor’s requests immediately, whether it’s asking to interview employees or review timesheet records.
While you’re working to put together everything the audit requires, come up with a plan that addresses how you’ll notify other departments involved and work with them to gather any required documentation for the audit (e.g., job descriptions, hiring policies, onboarding and orientation documents).
It’s also a good idea to set aside a private space in your office for the auditor during the investigation.
If you have any discussions with the auditor while that person is in the office, send a follow-up email so the details will be saved in writing.
Being proactive and auditing your own records may be the best bet to avoiding DOL scrutiny in the future.
If you discover FFCRA violations or violations of other wage and hour laws during your own review, it’s important to be honest and up front about your findings.
While employers are subject to FFCRA penalties for violations, other wage and hour issues may be resolved without penalty through the DOL’s voluntary PAID program.