DoL to Eliminate Employment Standards Administration

July 31, 2009 ( - The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) plans to eliminate the Employment Standards Administration (ESA) in 2009 in an internal streamlining that will eliminate a layer of bureaucracy over four federal agencies, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports.

When the ESA is dropped from the organizational chart effective November 8, 2009, the heads of the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS), Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), and Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) will report directly to Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.

According to SHRM, a July 28 statement from the DoL says the change “will significantly improve policy decision-making” for the four agencies and “enhance the department’s responsiveness in enforcing key worker protection laws.” The reorganization will eliminate the position of assistant secretary in each of the four agencies. 

Susan R. Meisinger, SPHR, former president and CEO of SHRM, told SHRM that the biggest concern for HR professionals she foresees is the DoL’s budget proposal to increase the number of WHD investigators, which she says will have a bigger impact on HR than doing away with the ESA.

The budget proposal would actually increase the number of investigators in several DoL agencies, including the Employee Benefits Security Administration, which could mean more employee benefit, as well as more compensation violations, are likely to be found (see Tweet Alert: EBSA in line for $10M Budget Bump, 75 New Posts ).