January 7, 2022

What Happens When Your Company Becomes The Target Of An Investigation by the NYS Department of Labor?

Department of Labor Workplace Investigation Rules of Engagement

By: Carly Deo

Whatcha Gonna Do in 2022 – When DOL Is Coming For You?

I'm Carly Deo, Head Administration Investigation and Human Right specialist for Pardalis & Nohavicka. I want to speak to business owners for a few minutes to discuss what happens when your company becomes the target of an investigation by the New York State Department of Labor (DOL).

DOL Company Investigation

When does the DOL visit employers?

DOL visits employers to: 

  • Investigate complaints
  • Ensure employers are in compliance with laws and regulations 
  • Provide important information 

What laws does the DOL enforce to protect workers?

The DOL enforces laws that protect almost all workers in New York State. These laws cover: 

  • Minimum wage and overtime payment 
  • Payment of wages and wage supplements (fringe benefits) 
  • Day of rest and meal period requirements 
  • Farm labor rules 
  • Child labor restrictions 
  • Garment industry employment conditions 

What happens during the first DOL visit?

During a first visit, DOL Investigators will: 

  • Introduce themselves and present credentials (a business card or badge) -- Always be professional and courteous
  • Visit without an appointment. The law allows unannounced visits; to enter and inspect any place where workers are working 
  • Not provide a reason for the visit -- complaints are confidential
  • Interview employees in private 
  • Review records on the premises 
  • Request any additional records in writing, and schedule a follow up visit if needed 
  • Offer and provide interpretation services if needed.

What should an employer do during an investigation?

To ensure the investigation runs smoothly, you, the employer, should:

  • Cooperate with investigators at all times 
  • Facilitate the inspection, employee interviews, and records review 
  • Not interfere with private employee interviews 
  • Not cover up for mistakes or create fake documents
  • Understand that hiring a private attorney does not limit Division access to the worksite, the employees, or the business owner/manager or payroll records 
  • Take no negative action against employees who made the complaint, are suspected of having made the complaint, cooperated with the investigation, or spoke with the investigator

I hope this has been helpful to you. In the next segment, we will discuss what happens after the investigation is over. Until then, stay in compliance and we'll see you next time.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time at: contact@pnlawyers.com

Carly Deo

Carly Deo

Connect with Carly here.

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