The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Inspector General (OIG), Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations' Division of Program Fraud is responsible for conducting criminal, civil, and administrative investigations relating to violations of Federal laws, rules or regulations as they pertain to DOL programs, grants, contracts, and operations, as well as allegations of criminal activity and serious misconduct on the part of DOL employees.
The OIG investigates fraudulent activity in several areas, including the following:
- Office of Workers Compensation Program (OWCP): These investigations focus on fraud committed against four major disability programs - the Federal Employees' Compensation Program; the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program; the Coal Mine Workers Compensation Program (Black Lung); and the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Program. The OIG investigates those who intentionally fail to disclose reportable employment or income, falsify or report fraudulent medical information, or claim to be injured or disabled when in fact they are not. As necessary, these investigations also target healthcare providers (doctors, clinics, pharmacists, physical therapists, etc.) who fraudulently bill DOL for services as well as, fraud associated with medical promotions or treatments and unauthorized payments or kickbacks made to employers, providers or claimants.
- Employment and Training Administration's (ETA) Foreign Labor Certification (FLC) Programs (PERM, H-2A, H-1B, H-2B, etc.): OIG investigations concentrate on fraud that facilitates the submission of falsified labor related VISA applications, denies U.S. citizens opportunities for employment, deprives honest immigrants opportunities for advancement, or threatens the security of the U.S. and its citizens. OLRFI efforts have identified unscrupulous attorneys, labor brokers, employers, and their associates, some with suspected non-traditional organized crime connections, as prominent threats to the integrity of the FLC process.
- Unemployment Insurance (UI): The OIG investigates schemes in which
stolen identities are used to file for and obtain unauthorized UI benefits,
illegal payments made to UI employees to influence their decisions regarding
claims, and the creation of fictitious employers through which unauthorized
UI benefits are filed for and received. OIG investigations have disclosed
abuse of the UI Program by non-traditional organized crime groups.
- Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and Job Corps (JC): Through WIA and JC, DOL provides major funding and training opportunities for the American worker. To ensure that such opportunities and resources are not abused, the OIG investigates fraudulent activity within WIA and JC including embezzlement of funds from relevant state-run programs, conflicts-of-interest involving program administrators, and general contractor fraud (embezzlement and misappropriation of funds).
- Grant Fraud: As grant fraud is a form of theft that results in the loss
of many government dollars, the OIG investigates schemes in which Federal
grants are being used for unjust enrichment, personal use, or other
than their intended purpose. For further information, please read the
Department of Justice's A Guide to Grant
Oversight and Best Practices for Combating Grant Fraud.
For more information on the OIG's investigative successes in all of these areas, please view the Semiannual Reports to the Congress.
Suspected fraud or violations relating to any DOL program should be promptly referred to the OIG via the OIG Hotline at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-347-3756.