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Labor: What to do when you get a letter from a union health or pension plan payroll auditor

How to work with the auditor to handle a broad request

Employers who participate in multi-employer health or pension plans are often surprised by the broad nature of the requests from payroll auditors. Frequently, the request will suggest dates when the auditor plans to be on-site at the employer’s place of business and will ask for payroll information for nonunion and other employees for whom the employer may not be required to make contributions to the health or pension plan. We often get calls from employers who would like to limit the information provided or to have the audit performed offsite.

Some employers try the route of stonewalling the auditor, suggesting that every possible date proposed by the auditor is inconvenient. Others try to insist that the audit can only be performed after normal business hours. Both of these approaches are mistakes. A payroll auditor generally has a right to perform the audit on-site at a time convenient to the auditor. If the dates proposed by the auditor would present a true hardship for the employer, the employer should advise the auditor of the conflict and work with the auditor to find a mutually convenient date for the audit. While the employer can choose a location at the worksite that is designed to be minimally invasive to conducting business, the employer should offer a reasonable schedule that includes normal business hours for the auditor to be present.

Contributing Author

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Angela Marie Hubbell

Angela Marie Hubbell is a partner at Quarles & Brady in the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group. Her practice involves counseling and representing employers...

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