DOL: The Department of Labor
The DOL or the Department of Labor consists of a collection of agencies and programs with the overarching purpose of upholding the health and safety of employees in their place of employment. A couple of ways that DOL advocates for the best of employees, whether retired or newly hired, is by creating plans to enhance workplace environments, to ensure work benefits and rights, and to improve employment profit.
The Department of Labor oversees a number of agencies that investigate complaints and settles cases. Naturally, these cases range from work and hour laws to unemployment insurance. Meanwhile, they also cover instances of workplace injury to questions of the safety and health in workplaces.
Don’t hesitate to consult with a DOL lawyer if you have a situation that falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor.
How Does The Department Of Labor Work?
Basically, DOL has over twenty-five offices and administrations that regulate the American workforce and protects the rights of job workers. Each program specializes in an area of DOL law, accepting and investigating complaints of possible violations of labor law. Together, these agencies uphold and defend the mission of the DOL.
Disputing health and safety problems in your workplace can be complicated. The deadline for filing a complaint can be as little as 30 days. If you notice a problem in your workplace, research the amount of time you have for filing immediately or contact a DOL attorney.
You may already know that you need to file a complaint. We provide a quick guide for how to submit a DOL complaint here.
What Are The Main DOL Agencies?
Each DOL agency is vital to the work that the Department of Labor does on the behalf of American job holders, seekers, and retirees. Although some agencies may seem more important, each does crucial work. However, we highlight a few DOL administrations and programs below.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
- Employment and Training Administration (ETA)
- Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
- Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
- Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS)
- Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP)
To enforce the federal laws of safety and health for the American workers, the Department of Labor spreads out these requirements between a number of boards and administrations. In the following sections, we delve a bit deeper into a couple of the DOL laws below.
Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) works closely with DOL. On the behalf of job holders, WHD upholds labor standards such as minimum wage and the 40-hour workweek. WHD also regulates time keeping, overtime wages, and child labor standards. This administration of DOL strives to offer protection of rights to immigrants, agricultural workers, and workers’ families.
Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS)
The Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS) follows the DOL mission by regulating the guidelines set by the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA). LMRDA focuses on employee protection through labor organizations in the private industries. Moreover, OLMS protects the rights of employees set by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 and the Foreign Service Act of 1980. However, OLMS exercises no authority over state, country, or municipal unions.
With the following six steps, OLMS supports the DOL.
- providing a “Bill of Rights” for unions.
- requesting finance and administrative practices reports.
- overseeing report requirements from employers, consultants, employees, and surety companies during work engagement.
- offering trusteeships standards.
- regulating the fairness of union officer elections.
- creating safeguards for protecting union finances.
Employment and Training Administration (ETA)
The DOL charges the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) with implementing a timely and smart US labor market. Through the coordination of state and local employee development programs, ETA prepares current and future employees for employment.
ETA offers labor market reports, quality education to employees, and income maintenance services. Furthermore, the below principles guide ETA’s mission under the Department of Labor.
- enhances neighborhoods, communities, and families through faith-based and community programs.
- supports the taxpayers with results-oriented programs.
- encourages business growth with a flexible workforce.
- partners education programs with employers to prepare incoming employees.
- ensures training educational programs for youth.
- equips workers with success-oriented skills and knowledge.
- offers tools to financial freedom.
- supports state and local communities.
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) reinforces the DOL mission by upholding work and business contracts between the federal government and workers along with offering equal employment opportunities to job seekers and wage earners. Meanwhile, the OFCCP continues its work by interacting with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Women’s Bureau, and the DOL.
The OFCCP focuses on its mission in six ways.
- assists contractors with the technical details of law.
- investigates complaints and evaluates compliance of federal contractors, specifically in personnel rules and standards.
- creates training programs to connect contractors to qualified employees.
- suggests ideas in how to enforce the law.
- settles violations of requirements with contractors before going to court.
- oversees progress of contractors and fulfillment of policies through occasional reports.
Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP)
The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) upholds the mission of the DOL with four programs. The disability compensation programs offer medical treatment, wage replacement benefits, job rehabilitation, and work-related injury benefits to eligible employees. Furthermore, OWCP investigates complaints of law violation and distributes compensation to workers.
The four disability compensation programs are listed below.
- The Coal Mine Workers’ Compensation Program provides for coal miners who have become disabled due to disease from their line of work, including medical coverage.
- The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program provides compensation for employees who have become ill due to exposure to radiation or other types of hazardous materials.
- The Federal Employees’ Compensation Program focuses on federal employees and any occupational related diseases and injuries incurred through their job.
- The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Program lessens the impact of work-related injury or disease on injured employees and their family by providing employee compensation and benefits.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) upholds DOL by requiring businesses to meet certain health and safety standards. OSHA’s regulations outline workplace requirements for the well-being of workers.
Filing an OSHA complaint demands thoroughness. When you file with OSHA, the investigation and review process must be followed through at this level. Your complaint cannot be moved to a different court or jurisdiction unless OSHA finds cause for the case. Upon finding no cause for the case, OSHA refuses you the option of a private lawsuit.
OSHA investigates any of the following types of claims.
- poor or negative employer response to hazard notification.
- failure of employer to follow OSHA regulations.
- whistle blower report.
- imminent danger report.
- complaint against a company under one of OSHA’s programs or a threat focused on by one of the programs.
- accusation about a workplace already scheduled or experiencing an OSHA inspection.
- detailed, written and signed complaint by a current worker that reveals possible violation of safety or imminent danger.
- accusation of past physical injury by an existing hazard.
Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) contributes to the DOL mission by focusing on the needs of individuals with disabilities. Other than offering educational opportunities, ODEP works to expand the number of quality job options for disabled job seekers and employees. Furthermore, ODEP raises awareness for employment equality for workers with disabilities.
The vision and focus of ODEP is implemented in workplaces through the following steps.
- encouraging the adoption of ODEP policies and practices.
- sharing employment and disabilities information.
- offering advice to the government and other employers.
- creating working environments with diversity and income equality.
The Department of Labor stemmed from a need to protect the rights of every employee. In the event of a DOL law violation, the DOL offers protection to employees throughout the United States.
If your work rights have been violated, contact a DOL lawyer because he or she will know how fight for your rights under the law.
Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC “KM&A” is a law firm serving all of Pennsylvania with our principal offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Call KM&A in western Pennsylvania at 412-626-5626 or in eastern Pennsylvania at 215-618-9185. KM&A can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.