Employment Law Guide
This Guide describes the statutes and regulations administered by the U.S.
Department of Labor (DOL) that affect businesses and workers. The
Guide is designed mainly for those needing "hands-on" information to
develop wage, benefit, safety and health, and nondiscrimination policies
for businesses in general industry.
Read the overview first to find out which
requirements apply to your business. For each requirement, the overview
provides a link to the related chapter in the Guide and to the
relevant DOL agency. Employers in certain industries (for instance,
agriculture) will be advised to contact specific offices within the
Department of Labor for further information.
Each chapter lists the telephone number of the
DOL agency that administers the laws and regulations addressed in that
chapter. If you have any difficulty contacting a DOL agency (for
instance, due to a telephone number that has been changed), or if you
need referral information on any topic within DOL's purview, call the
Department's Toll-Free Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365). All calls are kept confidential within the bounds of DOL's compliance assistance confidentiality protocol.
The Employment Law Guide is offered as a public resource. It does not create new legal
obligations and it is not a substitute for the U.S. Code, Federal Register, or Code of Federal
Regulations as the official sources of applicable law. Every effort has been made to ensure that
the information provided is complete and accurate as of the time of publication, and this will continue.
Later versions of this Guide will be offered at www.dol.gov/compliance or by calling our Toll-Free Help
Line at the number noted above.
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996
You should also be aware that the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of
1996 (SBREFA) places obligations on federal agencies and provides rights to small businesses.
The Department of Labor's Office of Small Business Programs oversees the Department's SBREFA
activities. You may also obtain information on SBREFA from the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Under SBREFA, the SBA has established an SBA Ombudsman and SBA Regional Fairness Boards. If you
wish to comment directly to SBA on the enforcement actions of any DOL agency, call 1-888-734-3247.
You also may call the Department of Labor's Office of Small Business Programs at 202-693-6460 or
your local DOL Regional Office.
Other Information for Employers and Employees
By itself or with other agencies, the Department of Labor administers several employment programs
to assist both employees and employers. In particular, One-Stop Career Centers established under the
Workforce Investment Act offer a variety of services for individuals seeking employment, as well as
resources for employers seeking workers.
Also, employers and employees may wish to explore the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and the
Welfare-to-Work tax credits. These credits can assist employers in their efforts to hire eligible
Finally, employees who lose their jobs due to changes in business conditions in general may wish
to file for unemployment insurance benefits, which are administered by the various states with assistance
from the Department of Labor. Employees who lose their jobs due to increased imports from, or shifts in
production to, foreign countries may be eligible for assistance under the Trade Adjustment Act program.
Further information about all of these programs and provisions can be
found on the Employment and Training Administration's Web site (www.doleta.gov).