Agency Investigations & Audits

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You need us when an investigator or plaintiff's attorney comes knocking.

Even the most compliant and best-intentioned companies receive visits from investigators with the US Department of Labor (DOL) or similar state agencies. These investigations may start with a knock on the door and the intimidating flash of a government badge. Or they may start with a threatening letter requesting a massive amount of information followed quickly by an onsite visit that the investigator has planned to occur almost immediately after the company’s receipt of the letter. And if an investigator does not come knocking, a plaintiff's attorney may, particularly where a technical failure to comply with a complicated or arcane employment law could create systemic compliance issues and lead to a bet-the-company class or collective action.


Our Agency Investigations & Audits team has extensive experience defending against agency investigations, as well as the litigation these investigations can spawn, from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state wage and hour laws to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and state leave management laws to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the Mine Safety and Health Act (MSHA), and state health and safety laws. Our team includes a former Acting Administrator of the US DOL’s Wage and Hour Division and a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor as well as a number of attorneys who have spent decades representing clients in federal and state DOL investigations. We assist clients with understanding the rules and processes of the investigator, setting expectations with the investigator at the outset of the investigation, and working with the investigator and the agency officials above the investigator, if need be, to resolve the matter. 

Our experience is critical because the agency investigators often work from a playbook that is not publicly available or, if available, is heavily redacted. In addition, the investigator’s requests for documents and information tend to be extremely broad, time-consuming, and burdensome. Without knowledge of the investigator’s playbook and other unwritten rules and norms and fearful of inciting a negative response from the investigator, companies can worsen their situation with the way in which they attempt to respond. And if it has been a while since the company last conducted an internal compliance audit, it is likely that the investigator will find an issue with one or more policies or practices that can lead to damages, fines, or penalties. Many investigations have also prompted repeat, company-wide investigations or private litigation by plaintiffs’ attorneys who can learn about the results of the investigation through a Freedom of Information Act or open records request.

Our team has conducted thousands of preventative compliance assessments for clients to ensure their policies, practices, and “books” are in order should an investigator come knocking. From our decades of experience defending clients in agency investigations and private litigation, we know how to identify the types of policies and practices that can be problematic, which issues to prioritize as the ones that investigators and plaintiffs’ attorneys target, and how to help clients implement solutions and manage any changes in a practical and logical manner consistent with business needs, goals, and organizational culture.

We have worked for clients across the United States spanning virtually all recognized industries. The industries in which our clients are found include airline, automotive, construction, consulting and professional services, energy, financial services, food service, government services and contracting, health care, hotel and hospitality, insurance, manufacturing, mining, poultry processing, pharmaceutical and life sciences, private equity, publishing, real estate holdings, restaurant, retail, sharing and gig economy, technology, temporary staffing and placement, transportation and logistics, trucking, warehousing, and many others.


Our team leverages technology, data, and the firm's project management resources to achieve excellent results for clients in a seamless and transparent manner, always keeping our focus on the business needs and corporate culture of our clients.