Advancing Compliance Solutions
When the U.S. Department of Labor created the Office of Compliance Initiatives (OCI) in 2018, our main goals were to help employers comply with our laws and regulations and help workers understand their rights. As Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Jonathan Wolfson frequently notes, most business owners want to follow the law and do right by their employees. They want to know their obligations and how to fulfill them.
Over the past two years, OCI has worked with the Department’s enforcement agencies on more than 6,000 events, the most recent of which was a virtual summit Sept. 14, showcasing our efforts: Advancing Compliance Solutions for Today’s Workplace, Two Years and Counting.
During the summit, agency leaders discussed the benefits of our voluntary compliance assistance and award programs. Programs like the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program can incentivize employers to voluntarily correct compliance errors. And efforts like the HIRE Vets Medallion Award program and the Excellence in Disability Inclusion Award encourage employers to go above and beyond in following best practices.
Over the past two years, OCI and the Department’s enforcement agencies have created and updated more than 100 such tools. We’ve also highlighted how these tools can help employers meet their responsibilities.
In online breakout sessions, attendees got to hear directly from Department experts on:
- How compliance tools can help create a disability-inclusive workplace;
- How the Department investigates and resolves complaints of Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) violations;
- How our Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs conducts Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) focused reviews, and how the agency’s Ombuds Service supports employers; and
- How we’re using public feedback to modernize compliance assistance tools.
OCI’s creation came at the same time the Department re-launched Worker.gov and launched Employer.gov, two websites that use human-centered design principles to customize compliance assistance around the needs of our stakeholders.
More than 5,200 people registered to join the summit, and we look forward to continuing the conversation in the years ahead. For those who missed the event, recordings of the panels and agency breakout sessions will be posted to dol.gov/summit by Sept. 21, 2020.
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S. Marisela Douglass is the Director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Compliance Initiatives.