If you’ve never heard of a DOL audit for Dallas TX small businesses, you need to know that it is increasing in frequency and quickly overtaking IRS audits as the bane of business owners. According to Forbes, all the detailed bookkeeping and exacting accounting practices in the world won’t be of much help if the Department of Labor decides to perform a DOL audit on your business. These audits focus on any of a number of areas that apply to how you deal with your employees, including but not limited to fair labor practices, employee retirement plans, how your employee handbook is written–pretty much any issue that relates to how your employees are compensated and treated in the workplace, in general.
What Prompts a DOL Audit?
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the most common thing that brings about a Department of Labor audit is an employee complaint. Typically, it’s wage and hour violations that attract the DOL’s attention to employers in fields such as restaurants, hotels and motels, daycares, and employers who routinely hire temporary help. However, Benefits Pro reveals that violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in any industry can be a cause for a DOL audit for Dallas TX businesses. In those cases that involve ERISA issues, a complaining employee is just one way for a business to get singled out. The SEC or IRS can refer cases, or your business might come to the DOL’s attention via the provider through which your employees’ retirement account is set up.
Avoiding an Audit
Audits performed by the Department of Labor can last as little as six months, or can take up to two years to complete. Even at the low-end, that is a lot of valuable time that you or someone from your company will have to spend on the process. Being proactive can help employers avoid a DOL audit in Dallas TX and, at the very least, will ensure that you’re well-prepared in the event that you receive notice that you’re to be audited.
Start before you get an audit notification by reviewing employees’ job descriptions, and make sure that the classifications you have listed for the Fair Labor Standards Act are correct. Go through your financial and employee/human resources records–including payroll–to ensure that everything is complete. Retaining the services of an attorney specializing in employment law is a wise move, too. The best time to hire such an attorney is before you need one, so he can help you conduct a self-audit and make sure you understand the differences between federal and state laws.
For just the help you need to ensure your business is ready in case of a DOL audit, contact Simon|Paschal, the Dallas TX firm specializing in employment and business law. Whether you’ve been notified you’ll be audited, or you want to put your business in order to avoid an audit, Simon|Paschal has the experience and expertise you need.
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