On May 4, 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the addition of a new, online Disability Nondiscrimination Law Advisor which is designed to assist employers in determining which federal disability nondiscrimination laws may apply to their business and their responsibilities based upon these federal laws. To accomplish this, the interactive tool asks users to answer a few relevant questions and then generates a customized list of federal disability laws that likely apply.
It is encouraging for employers that the DOL is expanding compliance tools in an effort to assist employers. The Disability Nondiscrimination Advisor is one of a series of elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors developed by DOL to help employers and employees understand federal employment laws. To access it, visit the elaws Web site.
However, the Obama administration is clearly poised to aggressively enforce labor and employment laws. The New York Times recently published an article describing plans to address labor law violations including an imposition of a significant increase in compliance-related requirements. The DOL, OSHA, and the IRS enforcement personnel have been significantly increased recently and the rhetoric from leadership within these agencies have been very pro-employee rights. There is no doubt the focus of the administration is now significantly less than past administrations on educating employers, and much more focused on enforcing violations.