The United States Department of Labor (DOL) conducted 3,900+ audits in 2014 and assessed over 2,500 employers (~64% of those audited) for health plan violations. The average penalty was $236,000, plus attorney fees. Health plan audits are expected to rise in the coming years.
Manuel Mendoza, regional compliance counsel for the USI West region, wrote an informative piece for Benefits Manager Pro titled, “Is your company prepared for a DOL investigation?”
The last thing any human resources professional wants to receive is an envelope alerting them to a DOL ERISA investigation.
Unfortunately, today’s HR professionals have reason to be concerned as 75 percent of DOL investigations are closed with a correction that can range from changes to administrative processes, fines, penalties and, in rare cases, imprisonment.
Manuel outlines the risks associated with a DOL investigation, who the major players are and how to comply with the ever-changing legal obligations and rapidly expanding laws.
While all HR professionals would be happiest if they never received a notice from the DOL informing them of an investigation, the key to a worry-free investigation is to be prepared and to work with a team who is experienced and can demonstrate proven results.