Wage & Hour Division Audit – Preliminary Inspection Issues & Opening Conference

Protect Employer Interests:
– Notify the team leader, your attorney, and other individuals included in your notification plan
– Clarify the scope of the investigation
– Only gather documents relating to the scope of the investigation; never provide more than what is asked
– records may be redacted to delete addresses, social security numbers, and other confidential information irrelevant to the investigation
– Employers should have a representative present to protect their rights and interests during a Department of Labor investigation. Investigators must wait a reasonable time (not to exceed one hour) for the representative to arrive.
– Always verify the compliance officer’s credentials
– The Department of Labor generally gives 72 hours to respond to investigative demands. A subpoena should be considered if:
– you need more time before the investigation
– the Department of Labor refuses to negotiate a reasonable scope and procedure for the impending investigation
– If deciding whether or not to consent to the investigation, consider the following risks and benefits:the risk of looking like there is something to hide from the Department of Labor
– the loss of control over the scope of the investigation
– the benefit of cooperating with the Department of Labor
– the benefit of negotiating the scope and procedures of the investigation
– The investigator may not interfere with normal business operations
The Opening Conference:
– The Wage & Hour Investigator will
– describe the scope and duration of the investigation
– make the Department of Labor’s first request for documents and information
– Your team leader should
– introduce the response team
– resolve the subpoena question
– ask for clarification
– describe document production protocol
– delivered in writing
– provided to wage & hour counsel
– discuss employee interview protocol
– be prepared to produce copies of
– the previous 3 years of time and payroll records
– written policies, practices, and procedures
– arrange daily meetings with the investigator to:
– learn identified concerns
– consider proactive measures
– schedule interviews with the requested employees
– track the time of each interview
– manage the audit to a rapid conclusion