Human Resources News & Insights

Getting PAID: Does DOL’s ‘amnesty’ program pay off for employers?

The Department of Labor (DOL) has extended the pilot program called the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID). Is it something your company should participate in? 

As you may know, the program is designed to help employees get paid for wages earned and to help employers correct past payroll mistakes. The PAID program began last April and will now be extended until April 2019.

Under the program, employers may self-report a wage violation to the DOL, along with a calculation of back wages owed. The employer then agrees to pay 100% of back wages owed over a two-year period.

Reassuring the wary

To reassure employers who were wary of turning over salary records to the feds, the DOL has explained certain aspects of the program which were previously concerns, including:

•  The agency will not seek a third year of back wages, liquidated damages, or civil money penalties

•  It will not issue a press release, and will keep the identity of the employer confidential, and

•  The DOL will not investigate the issue that the employer self-reports, but will instead review the employer’s back wages calculations for accuracy. Once the DOL approves the calculations, it will issue the release.

In another move to reassure employers, the DOL is holding a series of forums across the country to educate the public about the benefits of the program, which has been extended six months.

In the first forum, held in Georgia in October, DOL representatives emphasized that the program is focused on achieving compliance, not designed to present a “gotcha” opportunity to nab employers.

To participate in the program, the employer must answer an initial screening questionnaire on the DOL website to certify that the issue it’s bringing to the DOL for resolution is not the subject of ongoing litigation.

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