After the on-site investigation, the investigator will:
– review documents, records, and interview notes
– conduct off-site follow-up employee interviews, if necessary
– research standards, interpretations, and directives
– consult enforcement attorneys
– calculate proposed back wages and penalties
– get back wages approved and finalized by superiors in the Department of Labor
During the closing conference, the investigator will:
– communicate the Department of Labor’s findings
– identify the employees involved
– describe the standards allegedly violated
– state the basis for alleged violations
– outline necessary actions to achieve compliance
– explain post-audit rights
– not share the identity of the complainants/ informants
During the closing conference, the employer should:
– listen carefully and take detailed notes
– avoid agreeing with violations observed or make damaging admissions
– list any alleged violations that have already been corrected
– make no promises
– ask the investigator about characterizations and penalty amounts
– request time to provide supplemental information to correct factual errors that form the basis of a proposed violation finding
– leave the meeting open-ended and request a follow-up conference at a later date
Post- Audit Considerations Include:
– paying the amount without question and accepting the Department of Labor’s findings (rarely the best option)
– resolving disputed findings and negotiating reduced amounts at an inform settlement conference with the investigator or his/her supervisors (generally the best option)contesting the findings and negotiating a formal settlement with the Department of Labor’s counsel
– contesting the findings, preparing a defense, and proceeding to trial in court
In deciding whether to contest the Department of Labor’s findings, consider the following questions:
– Are the alleged violations accurate, and do they amount to an actual violation of law?
– Does the finding expose you to costly compliance measures?
– Are proposed penalties excessive?Are your sister facilities willing and bale to conform to the requirements?