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Sunday, January 25, 2009

When In doubt Call Department of Labor and Employment

I remember numerous times when the subject matter helped me a lot.

First experience, I was very new to being an HR Manager. I shifted from being a training manager whose skill was in designing and running training program to becoming in charge of everything that has to do with managing a company's human resource department. My regulatory knowledge was next to zilch and I was a one-man army in a disarrayed department that I inherited. I heard from someone that a company should be registered with the Department of Labor (one of the laws a.k.a. suggestions that HR Managers should comply with if they feel like it...nasty huh!). I didn't know how to go about it. I called the department of labor and got the information I needed. Don't ask me about them now, that was ages ago. Go ask them, that' what this article is all about.

Next, I recommended a compressed work-week to my boss so that we don't have to go to work on Saturdays and at one point we even tried the 4-day workweek. Couldn't find the needed information online, hence I called DOLE and they pointed me to Bureau of Working Conditions. I looked for someone there to ask about the regulatory requirements of making this scheme happen. I also got what I needed.

A couple of years ago, the company I was working for experienced a terrible financial situation because our biggest client pulled out their business. I had to retrench so many people. I asked around in the e-groups, I got good answers but I felt that I didn't get enough, so what did I do? Right, I called the Department of labor about our predicament. I told them I wanted to do it right and I needed advice from them. A representative guided me through the process. While I will never forget the pain of that experience, I was able to go through the process smoothly.

One of the things HR practitioners fear is D.O.L.E. inspections, especially the ones who have a lot to hide. I had the same worries but not because we have something to hide. I was afraid that there are regulations I was not aware of and is innocently not complying. I think a lot of HR Managers have the same problem. I realized however that the experience will enrich me. You are right, that what I did! I called up DOLE and told them I'm a new HR Manager. I, together with my boss wanted to be compliant and I told them we need their help. I learned from them that they were able to formulate a self-audit mechanism. They sent me the documents I needed to do a self-audit and then I did. I found some questions I can't understand or fear that we might not be compliant, so there I was again, calling DOLE asking them how I can comply. A gentleman came to my office and explained the requirement. I told him I'll be ready for his audit the next three months but he never returned. I think he realized that auditing me would be a waste of time when there are other companies who are hiding their noncompliance.

I hope the message here is clear by now, so I won't go any further. Let me just say this. It's been a while since I last ask them for anything. If things didn't change in that department, I tell you that it'll be worth your while to when in doubt, call D.O.L.E.

For D.O.L.E.and attached agencies contact details, click here.

1 comment:

  1. This should be taken to heart by young professionals entering the real world for the 1st time, my mom actually did dis when she was not in good terms w/ her former employer and she actually got a settlement out of them..


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