Wage and Hour Regulations | Human Resource Managers

ADP Research Institute®

DOL, OSHA, EEOC Are Creating More Compliance Burdens for You

This insight is from: "Wage and Hour, OSHA, and EEOC Regulatory and Enforcement Activity Is Already Underway. Are You Prepared?"



The Department of Labor (DOL) and other federal agencies are creating new labor and employment rules and regulations. The new rules cover a broad spectrum of interest to business owners and human resource managers, including wage and hour regulations, legal status of workers, workplace safety, discrimination in the workplace, privacy of employee data, and new requirements for federal contractors. Many changes place greater responsibility to employers. Read this white paper to understand which areas you need to focus on to be compliant.

FLSA and Wage and Hour Compliance are Top DOL Priorities

The Department of Labor’s main focus is on wage and hour compliance issues related to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). When U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis remarked, “There is a new sheriff in town and the agency is once again back in the enforcement business,” she obviously meant it. DOL enforcement activity levels are up substantially. In 2010, the agency opened 30 percent more cases than in the two prior years.

HR managers can expect to see the effects of the DOL’s regulatory enforcement in a number of ways, such as:

  • The “We Can Help” campaign is educating workers – particularly day laborers and farm workers – on wages and earnings.
  • The DOL’s “Plan/Prevent/Protect” initiative requires you to proactively “find and fix” potential violations before inspectors arrive.
  • A new DOL smartphone application for wage earners provides an electronic time sheet that employees can use to independently track their hours worked to determine wages owed.
  • Child labor regulations place new limits on young workers (14-15 and 16-17 year olds) engaged in “nonagricultural” occupations.

Compliance Activity Expands at OSHA, EEOC, and OFCCP  

OSHA, EEOC, and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), too, have increased HR-related compliance activities. In virtually every area, employers face an increased compliance burden:

  • OSHA – Hired more inspectors, conducted more inspections (41,000 in 2010), and is investigating more small businesses (employers with headcounts of 20 or more instead of 40 or more).
  • EEOC – Added staff to manage a larger number of worker discrimination cases – caseload grew 7% in 2010. Charges of discrimination being made under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) are focusing on whether employers are complying with their ADA obligations.
  • OFCCP – The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs requires federal contractors with at least $50,000 in federal contracts and 50 or more workers to adopt an affirmative action plan. Federal contractors must also track and analyze data on job applicants who are covered veterans. The agency’s Active Case Enforcement group is also selecting every 25th compliance evaluation for an automatic full-compliance review.
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Look For “Coordinated” DOL and ICE Visits

Some federal agencies are not only sharing information online from a common database, but also conducting coordinated visits. Therefore, your HR manager should not be surprised to see a representative of U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) auditing your compliance with employee eligibility verification laws after a DOL investigator completes his or her examination of work conditions and whether you are paying proper wages.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is Proposing New Privacy Rules

Expect a bigger administrative compliance burden around protecting the privacy of employee data. For example, HHS is proposing changes to the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Privacy Rule that would enable your employees to receive notice regarding who might be accessing their electronic protected health information. This white paper contains additional information on data privacy rule changes that can impact your compliance responsibilities.

*A complete list of sources and citations can be found in the full report.

Documentation must be produced within 3 days of receiving an inspection notice. Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

In 2010, OSHA conducted nearly 41,000 workplace inspections. Source: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fiscal year 2010 data.

About This Report: This report was commissioned by ADP and written in 2011 by the law firm of Jackson Lewis, which specializes in workplace law.

Keywords: Compliance, HR Management

Business Types: Research for Small Organizations, Research for Midsized Organizations, Research for Large Organizations

Roles: Research for Human Resources Professionals

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