To employers, recordkeeping, record retention, reporting, and notice requirements can seem like a complex algorithm of numbers and dates, precariously aligned against a backdrop of the numerous state and federal employment laws. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has unveiled yet another compliance tool for employers.
The newest "elaws advisor," which was unveiled earlier today, helps employers take the first step in any compliance objective--determining which of the DDOL's recordkeeping, reporting and notice requirements apply to them. The new Recordkeeping, Reporting and Notices elaws Advisor has been integrated into a "FirstStep" suite of advisors. Just like it sounds, the "FirstStep" online tools all focus on providing employers with the right starting point as they work towards implementing best practices throughout the organization. Also included in the suite are the revised and expanded FirstStep Poster Advisor and FirstStep Employment Law Overview Advisor.
"These Internet tools will make it easier for small business employers to learn about and comply with the federal laws that apply to them," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.
The elaws advisors are free, Web-based tools, making them easily accessible by employees and employers alike. By asking a series of questions, the advisors simulate a conversation with a Department of Labor expert and guide users to customized information explaining the requirements of each law. For example, by asking questions such as size of business, location and type of industry through multiple choice or yes and no questions, the FirstStep Employment Law Overview Advisor determines which federal employment laws govern the user's business. The advisor then provides information from the Labor Department's Employment Law Guide on the basic provisions of these laws.
The new FirstStep Recordkeeping, Reporting and Notices Advisor summarizes the paperwork requirements for each law. The FirstStep Poster Advisor, which can be used to download and print off Labor Department posters for free, was revised to include information on where the posters must be displayed in the workplace, and what size and language requirements apply to each.
This suite of FirstStep elaws advisors is available at www.dol.gov/elaws/firststep.
The DOL offers more than 25 other elaws advisors covering a wide range of employment law topics, such as minimum wage and overtime, child labor, veterans' workplace rights, health and retirement benefits, and workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.dol.gov/elaws.