Your worst fears are realized: Investigators from the DOL Wage and Hour Division have just appeared in your office for an unannounced visit. Do you know what to do?
Bill Pokorny of the Chicago law firm Franczek Radelet recently posted a checklist on the Wage & Hour Insights blog.
- Be polite. Even if you’re not moved to do so out of common courtesy, remember that being disrespectful to a government agent with the power to make your life very difficult and assess large financial penalties is not a wise business decision.
- Contact your lawyer immediately. Make sure he or she has experience handling DOL audits. If not, get a referral to someone who does.
- Don’t turn over any records, arrange employee interviews, or answer any other substantive questions until you’ve talked to your lawyer.
- Don’t talk to your employees about the DOL visit until you talk to your lawyer. Even questions that seem innocent to you can give the impression that you are pressuring employees or possibly retaliating against them for cooperating with the DOL.
- Most important: Make sure your time and payroll records are in good order before the DOL comes knocking. This means that they should be accurate, organized, and in a format that allows you to easily provide them to your lawyer and the DOL on short notice.