The U.S. Department of Labor, in collaboration with other federal employment agencies, established an Office of Compliance Initiatives intended to better communicate to employers and workers about employee antidiscrimination rights.
Among the laws DOL’s various divisions oversee compliance with are the Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act along with several others.
Critics say that the creation of OCI reflects DOL’s growing emphasis on compliance rather than pursuing aggressive enforcement by the agency.
However, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta observed in his announcement of the OCI initiative, “Vigorous enforcement and compliance assistance go hand in hand. The OCI expands our efforts to promote full compliance with federal labor law.”
OCI took its first actions by launching two websites – www.worker.gov and www.employer.gov. These sites cover payment of wages, workplace safety and health, retirement security, rights to leave and other federally-protected benefits.
Employer.gov provides employers with information about their responsibilities and includes a resource section designed for small business owners.
Worker.gov, the employee-focused site, goes so far as to walk workers step-by-step through the process of filing claims or charges with the respective federal agencies, with links to complete the process.
The site also provides information about rights protected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Justice and National Labor Relations Board.