How to Survive a DOL Audit? A Roadmap to Compliance


By Imagility

Share this on:

If you are an employer diligently managing your company, you may receive a notification anytime: the Department of Labor (DOL) is going to audit your business. In such moments, anxiety sets in, questions arise, and uncertainty looms. You may further find yourself thinking, “What will the auditors scrutinize? Will you emerge unscathed, or will penalties and reputational damage follow?” By keeping in mind the same concerns, we have crafted this blog to help you prepare and survive a DOL audit.

From explaining what a DOL audit is to the potential causes of a DOL trigger, we will discuss the top ways to survive a DOL audit.

Lets begin,

What is a DOL Audit?

A DOL audit is an examination of a business’s employment practices and records conducted by the Department of Labor (DOL). The purpose of the audit is to ensure that businesses are complying with labor laws and regulations, such as wage and hour laws, employee classification, and recordkeeping requirements.

The DOL may choose to conduct an audit randomly or based on specific triggers, such as complaints from employees or industry-wide investigations. It is essential for businesses to understand the purpose of a DOL audit and the potential consequences of non-compliance.

What Triggers a DOL Audit?

A DOL audit can be triggered by various factors, such as complaints from employees, industry-wide investigations, or random selection. Common triggers include suspicions of H1B wage violations, misclassification of H1B employees, failure to keep accurate records or previous violations.

It’s important for businesses to be proactive in addressing any potential issues and ensuring compliance to minimize the risk of triggering an audit. By understanding the triggers and taking steps to stay compliant, you can reduce the likelihood of a DOL audit and protect your business.

Top Ways to Survive a DOL Audit

Now that you understand the importance of a DOL audit and what can trigger one, let’s dive into the top ways to survive an audit. These tips will help you navigate the process and get through with minimal disruption to your business. From considering a self-audit to being courteous to the investigator, we’ll cover all the strategies you need to ensure compliance and protect your business. So, let’s get started on your roadmap to surviving a DOL audit!

Consider a self-audit

When facing a DOL audit, one of the best steps you can take is to consider conducting a self-audit. This proactive approach allows you to identify any potential issues or areas of non-compliance before the DOL investigators do. By conducting your own audit, you can address any discrepancies, correct any errors, and implement necessary changes to ensure compliance with labor laws.

Reviewing existing policies and records

Reviewing existing policies and records is a crucial step in preparing for a DOL audit. This involves closely examining your current employment practices, policies, and procedures to ensure they are in compliance with labor laws and regulations. Hence, you must take the time to review your employee handbook, job descriptions, compensation practices, and any other relevant policies that may be subject to scrutiny during the audit.

Be courteous to the investigator

During a DOL audit, it’s important to be courteous and respectful to the investigator. Remember, they are just doing their job and following protocols. Be prompt in responding to their requests and provide all the necessary documentation quickly. Be polite and professional in all your interactions with the investigator, as this can help build a positive rapport and make the process smoother.

By maintaining a courteous attitude, you can create a more cooperative environment and potentially mitigate any potential negative outcomes.

Request a pre-investigation meeting

To enhance your chances of successfully navigating a DOL audit, it is crucial to request a pre-investigation meeting with the investigator. This meeting allows you to establish a relationship, ask questions, and gain a better understanding of the audit process. It also gives you an opportunity to address any concerns or issues upfront.

By proactively seeking this meeting, you demonstrate your commitment to compliance and collaboration. Remember, the goal is to work together with the investigator, so don’t hesitate to reach out and request a pre-investigation meeting. It can make a significant difference in how the audit unfolds.

Protect proprietary information

Protecting proprietary information is a crucial aspect of surviving a DOL audit. During the audit, the investigator may request access to various records and documents related to your business operations. While it’s important to comply with their requests, you must also take steps to protect any proprietary or confidential information.

This includes trade secrets, financial data, customer lists, or any other sensitive information that could harm your business if it falls into the wrong hands. To protect proprietary information, consider taking the following steps:

  1. Review and categorize your records

Before the audit begins, carefully review your records and identify any sensitive information. Categorize these records separately and establish clear guidelines for their handling and protection.

  1. Limit access

Only provide access to proprietary information to individuals who absolutely need it. Implement strict access controls and password protection measures to ensure that only authorized personnel can access sensitive records.

  1. Mark documents as confidential

Clearly mark any proprietary documents as “Confidential” to highlight their importance and restrict access.

  1. Implement data encryption

Encrypt any electronic files or data that contain proprietary information. Encryption adds an extra layer of security and prevents unauthorized access.


By doing self-audits, reviewing policies and documents, and requesting a pre-investigation meeting, you can easily survive a DOL audit. Also, do not forget to be courteous to the investigator during DOL audits. This not only showcases your commitment to compliance but also reduces the likelihood of unnecessary complications.

If you still need help with how to survive a DOL audit, you can  book a free mock audit demo with Imagility today. This will help alleviate your concerns and ensure you are well-prepared to face DOL with confidence.

Subscribe for latest blog updates

By submitting this you will be receiving our latest updates on the blogs.

Get Started With Imagility

Save upto 6 hours a day!