Wage & Hour enforcement is on the rise. Over the past several years, the federal government has added hundreds of new investigators to its Wage & Hour Division in its effort to step up its enforcement efforts in particular industries. In addition to the federal government, each State’s Division of Wage & Hour can investigate any employer doing business within its State. Investigators can show up without notice and demand to inspect your payroll and other records. Their visits are often prompted by an employee complaint, which can be made anonymously. But sometimes, an inspection is started simply because your particular geographic area or industry has been targeted.
Genova Burns attorneys can review your payroll methodology and record keeping practices to ensure you are in compliance with federal and state law.
The Self-Audit Approach
While there is nothing an employer can do to avoid a DOL investigation, taking a proactive approach by performing a self-audit can reduce and possibly eliminate your exposure before the DOL arrives.
A good self-audit focuses on the same issues that DOL investigators look for:
- Are you properly taking advantage of the permissible tip credit?
- Is overtime being calculated properly?
- Is your “tip pool” lawful?
- Is “side work” being properly accounted for?
- Are you maintaining records and postings consistent with DOL requirements and necessary to defend against future business claims?
The goal of the self-audit is simple: identify and correct problematic pay and record keeping practices before they lead to expensive wage claims.
The Benefits of Self-Auditing
Identifying issues on your own gives you the opportunity to self-correct, which immediately begins reducing your exposure in the event of a future audit.
In addition, self-audits are also looked upon favorably by the DOL and can save your company tens of thousands of dollars when negotiating a reduction in the fines in the event violations are discovered.
Self-audits also reduce your litigation exposure. Current and former employees can bypass the DOL and go straight to court.
Genova Burns attorneys will meet with you on site to review your payroll methodology and record keeping practices to ensure you are compliant with federal and state law.
Contact: John R. Vreeland, Esq.
Director, Wage & Hour Compliance Practice Group