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KJLLAW, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 1458
Experience:  Attorney at Law Office of KJLLAW
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We are a small business and the Federal Wage and Hour are

Customer Question

We are a small business and the Federal Wage and Hour are conducting an investigation. I'm told they do not have to state the nature of their visit. This is an unfamiliar situation for me. What do I legally have to comply with and how do I protect the business from unsubstantiated claims?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Ohio
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Not at this time
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't believe so.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  KJLLAW replied 3 months ago.
Good morning. Who is conducting the investigation. How were you informed of the investigation?
Expert:  KJLLAW replied 3 months ago.
If you are being investigated by the US Department of Lanor then here is a summary of your rights and obligations and answers to your questions.
Expert:  KJLLAW replied 3 months ago.
A little background. The Fair Labor Standard Act1 (“FLSA”) is the foundation of federal wage and
hour law. The FLSA regulates minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay, and child labor.
Its overtime requirements are the most significant contributor to wage and hour violations
and litigation.
The FLSA is enforced by DOL's Wage and Hour Division, which has the authority
to investigate and gather data regarding wages, hours, and other conditions of
employment to determine whether an employer is violating the FLSA, and to subpoena
witnesses and documentary evidence relating to any matter under investigation.
The Wage and Hour Division conducts investigations of companies for a number
of reasons. Although the Wage and Hour Division does not typically disclose the reason
for an investigation, many are initiated by complaints.
There are several types of investigation that the Department of Labor will conduct to investigate all FLSA issues
The first is a Limited investigation of specific FLSA issues, and the second major type is an office audit. They also conduct phone reviews in some situations.
Legally you must let them into your business. Whatever the reason for the audit, a wage and hour investigator has the legal right under federal law to enter your business and gather records that may be necessary to determine whether you are complying with FLSA.
You can state to the investigator that you would like to have your attorney or accountant present at any point during the investigation. even though the law allows you to decline to voluntarily cooperate with an investigator, it will work against you to block the investigation, and be non-cooperative. If you do not voluntarily cooperate with
the request for records, DOL can issue an administrative subpoena to compel production
of your records.
The investigator is looking for allegations of noncompliance that have
occurred during the preceding 2 years. They look for violations of the FLA, Family and Medical Leave
Act of 1993. The Wage and Hour Division has a memorandum of understanding with the
agency formerly known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), now the USCIS, whereby an
investigator who suspects violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act will notify
the USINS. On some investigations, the investigator will inspect the I-9 forms of the
company’s employees. The Wage and Hour Division has similar arrangements with other
agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Occupational Safety
and Health Administration (OSHA).
A few weeks after the inspection of records and any employee interviews, the investigator
holds a final conference with you. At this conference, they will inform you of the investigative findings. If violations are found, the investigator discusses with the employer both payment of back wages and the employer’s
future compliance. The Wage and Hour Division will usually attempt to reach a
voluntary agreement regarding issues of compliance and payment of
back wages.
I hope this helps. Please don't forget to rate the question for credit and tracking so that I will receive credit and payment for assisting you today.