Monday, May 3, 2010

Mandatory Compliance Plans for Wage, Safety, and Equal Employment

Late last week, the New York Times ran a story: U.S. Outlines Plan to Curb Violations of Labor Law. Spoiler alert: Through mandatory compliance plans:
In a move that will affect most American corporations, the Labor Department plans to require companies to prepare and adopt compliance plans aimed at ensuring they do not violate wage, job safety and equal employment laws.
No details yet, but the Department of Labor is drafting the proposed rules as I type.

Deputy Labor Secretary Seth Harris
Presumably, the rules will go through the ordinary notice of proposed rulemaking and comment period before they issue a final rule. The article points to one specific area of concern: misclassification of workers as independent contractors.

This has the potential to be huge, but let's wait and see what the DOL comes up with. Will it help workers? We'll see. One group it will almost certainly help: Labor and employment lawyers, who will no doubt start receiving requests to draft these plans.

Image: Deputy Labor Secretary Seth Harris, quoted in NYT article. Source: Dept. of Labor website, Public Domain as Work of U.S. Government.

Posted by Philip Miles, an employment lawyer with McQuaide Blasko in State College, Pennsylvania.