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April 6, 2011

Weekly Wednesday Acronym – DOL

This week’s weekly acronym is one we are most likely very familiar with – DOL – the (dreaded) Department of Labor.  In fact, you may have their website bookmarked on your computer for quick reference. 

As you know, the DOL is the federal agency responsible for administering and enforcing a large quantity of federal labor laws.  Below is a partial list of agencies and labor laws the DOL is responsible for (which you will note contains even more acronyms):

  • Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
    • Continuation rights for benefits (COBRA), privacy rights for benefits (HIPAA)
  • Wage & Hour Division (WHD)
    • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – overtime pay, child labor
    • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
  •  Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
    • Workplace health and safety, whistleblower protection
  • Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
  • Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP)
  • Veterans’ Employment and Training Services (VETS)
    • Veterans’ rights to reemployment (USERRA)

It is obvious there isn’t much in our human resources world that doesn’t involve the DOL in some way, shape or form.  The DOL has issued a number of “Fact Sheets” which are very helpful in understanding and interpreting the various labor laws.  I would encourage you to visit their website, as it is a great resource for human resource professionals.  Their homepage is http://www.dol.gov, and for a complete summary of the DOL’s areas of responsibility, please visit http://www.dol.gov/opa/aboutdol/lawsprog.htm.

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