Jeffrey Ruzal Quoted in “If the DOL Knocks…”

PCA Plus July-August 2017

Jeffrey H. Ruzal, a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in PCA Plus, in “If the DOL Knocks…” by Jackie Carpenter.

Following is an excerpt (see below to download the full version in PDF format):

At the recent National Club Association conference in New York City, attorney Jeffrey Ruzal, a former trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), provided invaluable advice for GMs should they fall victim to a DOL audit.

“The DOL does not call you or provide any advance notice,” Ruzal warned. “Rather they simply knock on the door and ask for the GM.” Investigators will tell you that they are going to investigate and talk to employees at random and use leading questions suggesting that the club has violated wage and hour laws. From the time the DOL shows up, the process occurs very quickly and employers often don’t know what to do about it.

You should immediately inform the DOL that you will be contacting your attorney and shepherd them to a private room or area of the club outside the view of members and guests, Ruzal advised. They may respond aggressively, claim that you are not cooperating and perhaps even threaten to return with a subpoena. They may show you their badges which can be very intimidating.

Ruzal says although you may be caught off guard, you should calmly but clearly reiterate your request to speak with your attorney before the investigation commences and request that they return at a later time that is more convenient and less of a disruption to club business, members and guests.

Many investigators will likely accommodate your request and perhaps return at a later date. Nevertheless, “The audit is likely going to happen; the DOL will continue to demand your records and they will interview your employees. Make sure you are being guided by your lawyer through this critical process,” he advised.