The U.S. Department of Labor on Tuesday said it’s creating a new sub-office tasked with helping businesses comply with the more than 100 wage, safety and benefits laws it administers.
The Office of Compliance Initiatives will work with the DOL’s various enforcement-focused sub-agencies on their compliance outreach, the agency said in a statement. Its jobs will include keeping businesses and workers up-to-date on the law and developing new ways to use data to bolster compliance and enforce the law, the DOL said. …
Paul DeCamp, a former administrator of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, described the OCI’s launch as a “clear example of good government” that appears to bring the agency’s disparate compliance efforts under one roof.
“It’s really taking the compliance assistance work the department has been doing for a long time and really streamlining it to make it very user friendly,” he said in a call with Law360.
The initiative aligns with the perception that Republican administrations are focused on helping businesses comply with the law while Democratic administrations are more focused on bringing claims against alleged violators, according to DeCamp, who now co-chairs management-side firm Epstein Becker Green’s national wage and hour practice.
This dichotomy stems in part from the perception that these concepts are zero-sum, he said, meaning the more resources the agency devotes to compliance the less it has for enforcement, and vice versa. But because the OCI is housed in the DOL’s policy office, it may not divert money from enforcement, DeCamp said.
“The way it seems so far, this is a rare situation that benefits everybody — all stakeholders — by increasing compliance, which is good for everybody,” he said.