The Department of Labor is really not messing around.
After releasing a fact sheet last month saying that employers were no longer allowed to use free
slave labor unpaid interns, the department has now said that it’s going to make companies explain themselves when they’re breaking the rules.
The question last week about unpaid internships was whether the DOL can actually enforce these rules that it’s setting out…many thought that it couldn’t.
This new plan may help with some of that enforcement.
According to the New York Times, the department will require companies to put together a written plan to explain why they’re violating law.
“Giving one example, [Deputy Labor Secretary Seth] Harris said companies that classify workers as independent contractors — often to avoid paying Social Security taxes and circumvent wage laws — would have to prepare a written explanation of why those workers should be considered contractors rather than employees. Companies would then have to give these workers the explanation.”
Not sure yet whether this applies to intern laws as the plan is still being developed, but sounds like good news regardless.