Increasing Activity from the Department of Labor and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
No employer wants to receive a letter, phone call, or visit from the Department of Labor (DOL) or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Unfortunately, these agencies are increasing their enforcement activities, and this trend is likely to continue through the near future. The DOL continues to add investigators (approximately 300 in 2009 and 2010), resulting in more audits and enforcement from the agency. In 2011, the DOL collected nearly $225 million in back wages, a record annual total for the DOL up until that time due in part to this increased enforcement. A significant amount of the monies collected resulted from employers’ improper pay or classification practices under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers should take note that the DOL also has agreed to work with the IRS in an attempt to resolve the misclassification of employees. The EEOC likewise has increased its number of investigators who are enforcing the agency’s new director’s employee friendly agenda. In 2011, the EEOC was responsible for $364.4 million in monetary benefits for victims of workplace discrimination. With increased enforcement of workplace laws and regulations, employers must ensure their policies, procedures, and practices are in line with the ever changing laws and regulations. The attorneys at The McCleskey law firm can assist employers in developing workplace practices and procedures that will benefit them in the event of being contacted by the DOL or EEOC.