U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta recently said that he “fully expects” OSHA inspections to increase once new inspectors are trained. Acosta’s remarks are in line with the significant increase in enforcement actions employers have seen in the past two fiscal years.
Increased DOL Enforcement Actions
The DOL’s enforcement actions across the vast majority of its offices and agencies have increased in the past two fiscal years. In the 2016 fiscal year, OSHA conducted 31,948 inspections, and the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) recovered $352 million in enforcement actions.
Comparatively, according to the most recent data, the EBSA recovered $1.1 billion in enforcement actions. Despite the increased action, DOL guidance on complying with rules and regulations has decreased.
What Does This Mean for Employers?
Employers should be aware that the uptick of DOL enforcement actions will continue. As such, they should take action to review and evaluate their compliance obligations to avoid costly fines and penalties. In particular, employers should review their OSHA obligations, as the DOL has communicated that inspections will continue to increase. Additionally, employers should take time to review the newly proposed overtime rule to identify which employees may be affected if the rule becomes final.
For more information on DOL compliance, please contact Emery Benefit Solutions.