An L&I audit can be confusing. Auditors often say that they aren’t planning to fine a business, only to surprise the business later with an expensive adjustment to worker classifications, along with fees and penalties. Most audits can be managed by the business owner. However, if an auditor is asking for records in a way that doesn’t make sense, behaving aggressively, or complaining that some records aren’t available, then you might need help.
We have a decade of experience working in regulatory compliance. We know the tricky questions the auditor may use to assess a penalty to business owners who don’t expect to be told they’re doing anything wrong. We can help the auditor better understand anything that may have raised a red flag in a business’s records or background. We let you focus on your work while we help the auditor get what they need so they can move on.
An audit can start with a letter or a phone call. You will always be required to fill out a pre-audit questionnaire in a formal audit. Some business owners get caught up in their work and forget to check their mail for the final audit result. Your auditor will NOT email you or call you with your final assessment.
If your audit ends with an adjustment that requires you to pay L&I more money, then you can appeal the audit and request a conference. This process usually ends with a business owner paying less than they would have without a dispute.
Washington state agencies regulate professionals in many fields. For example, the Department of Social and Health Services issues licenses for adult family homes. The Department of Early Learning issues licenses for day care facilities. The Department of Health issues licenses for entities engaged in training health care professionals, such as Nursing Assistant training programs. The Department of Licensing issues licenses for companies that train the individuals it licenses, such as cosmetology or massage therapy schools. The Liquor Control Board regulates marijuana businesses. Any of those regulatory agencies can investigate a license holder, issue a “stop placement,” and send a statement of charges.
Washington state agencies must investigate every complaint against a business or professional, even if the complaint comes from an ex-boyfriend, a client with a history of making false complaints against other businesses, or any other source that seems obviously suspicious. Always respond promptly to any paperwork or phone calls you receive from a state agency. State employees are overworked or underpaid. They may not take the time to hear your side or review the facts. It’s important to make it easy for a state agency to find out what
State agencies are only required to allow 28 days from the day the notice is mailed to the day the appeal is due. If you miss a notice, you can still appeal, but you will have to use a “good cause” excuse. Feel free to call us to talk about “good cause” exceptions that could apply to your case. Every appeal will be evaluated on the specific facts involved.