DOL's Plan/Prevent/Protect Compliance Strategy

January 14, 2012

The U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) is implementing a broad new enforcement strategy, entitled Plan/Prevent/Protect. The DOL's plan will place increased burdens on employers by requiring them to assemble plans, create processes, and designate personnel charged with achieving compliance with DOL-administered employment laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and OFCCP regulations.

The Plan/Prevent/Protect strategy will replace what the DOL has called the current "catch me if you can" approach to compliance that allows employers to depend on luck or coincidence to avoid violations.

The three part Plan/Prevent/Protect strategy will require covered employers to take the following steps to ensure compliance with applicable laws:

Plan: Create a plan for identifying and remediating risks of legal violations and other risks to workers.
Prevent: Implement the plan in a manner that thoroughly and completely prevents legal violations.
Protect: Ensure that the plan's objectives are met on a regular basis. The plan must actually protect workers from violations of their workplace rights.

To ensure compliance, SESCO recommends taking the following steps:

Plan: Have a qualified professional firm, such as SESCO; conduct an annual assessment of all employment practices. SESCO retainer clients receive such an assessment.
Prevent: SESCO, or your auditor, will provide a complete assessment report with findings and suggestions for compliance as well as improvement. Review and understand the plan with your professional firm/consultant.
Protect: Implement the plan to address non compliance and continually monitor through ongoing assessments. Train managers on "do's and don'ts" as well as basic employment regulations.

SESCO clients, through our annual compliance assessment, have been and are in compliance with the DOL compliance strategy. Non SESCO clients or who are not receiving assessments, should contact us to explore our Professional Service Agreement and ensure compliance. You may contact us at sesco@sescomgt.com or by phone at 423-764-4127.