HR Law and the Department of Labor (DOL)

Editor's Note: Understand and comply with the various agencies of the DOL.

Ashley ShawOverview: The Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet of the US government that is in charge of various components of employee well-being, including worker safety and wage and hour concerns. The Secretary of Labor heads the DOL.

The DOL greatly impacts a lot of HR law that affects employers. Through its many branches, the DOL’s task is to protect the rights of the many employees that are working in the United States. To do this, the department has many different organizations and agencies performing the various different tasks.

While the DOL regulates federal law, states also have their own DOL’s, or similar agencies, that perform these tasks at the state level. It is through these organizations that HR law is created, implemented and enforced.

While the DOL has advice and tips for employees on exercising their rights, the department also has useful information for employers. For example, they offer information on complying with different aspects of HR management.

The DOL runs, among others, all of the following agencies:

  • Office of Worker's Compensation;
  • Wage and Hour Division;
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics;
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration; and
  • Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Author: Ashley Shaw, JD, Legal Editor

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