DOL Enforcement Database Targets Company ProfilesHR Advisor feature article | January 2012
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has developed an online resource called Enforcement Data 2.0. The online database represents a significant new employer threat as it provides public access to workplace-related information about certain companies. By leveraging database information (i.e. wage and hour, workplace injuries, etc.), the DOL and other enforcement agencies can more easily target specific businesses or industries.
Employers face several implications about this online tool. Multiple agencies can more quickly report employers deemed as non-complaint with its workplace obligations and make the same employers more easily discoverable. For example, if the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division enters information about an employer’s non-compliant minimum wage practices, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) could potentially use the information as a basis to explore unlawful discrimination issues in terms of the company’s equal pay treatment among its employees. In essence, the company’s exposure of designated non-compliance in one area increases the likelihood of inquiry or investigation into other areas of an employer’s policies, procedures, and practices.
For the time being, this online resource remains still fairly new and has not caught much media attention yet. However, with a new year already starting, the DOL and other agencies are clearly continuing to ramp up their compliance enforcement efforts against employers. In fact, the DOL has communicated that it will develop more features to its Enforcement Data 2.0 and will also rigorously educate the public about employee workplace rights and employers who demonstrate failure of employment law compliance.
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