When Elizabeth Hanford Dole steps down as secretary of labor next week, her departure is expected to trigger an exodus of top political appointees at the Labor Department.

In the weeks ahead, the deputy secretary, at least four assistant secretaries and the solicitor are expected to resign.

Unlike other federal agencies, the Labor Department was something of a political sanctuary for Republican supporters of the abortive 1988 presidential campaign by Dole's husband, Senate Minority Leader Robert J. Dole of Kansas.

A number of key advisers also had worked for Elizabeth Dole when she was secretary of transportation in the Reagan administration before resigning to work in her husband's campaign.

As a consequence, sources in the department expect a high turnover once the secretary leaves. As for those with specific ties to one or the other of the Doles, one source predicted that "the whole crew will go."

Just days after Dole announced that she was leaving the Cabinet to become president of the American Red Cross, William C. Brooks, the assistant secretary for employment standards and the department's highest ranking black, announced his return to General Motors. Brooks was one of those who had been expected to stay.

Deputy Secretary Roderick A. DeArment, a former staff director of the Senate Finance Committee under Sen. Dole, is expected to return to private law practice once a new secretary has been named and after a suitable transition period. DeArment was a partner in the Washington law firm of Covington and Burling before signing on at the Labor Department.

The White House already has begun sounding out prospective candidates for DeArment's job. The deputy secretary is considered a key post because whoever holds it is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the department.

Jennifer L. Dorn, assistant secretary for policy, is expected to go with Dole to the Red Cross. Dorn has long been a close aide to Dole, working for her at the Transportation Department before going to Labor.

Solicitor Robert P. Davis, who served as Dole's chief of staff at the Transportation Department, also is expected to return soon to private law practice. Davis was a partner in the law firm of Anderson, Hibey, Nauheim and Blair before taking the labor post two years ago.

Two other assistant secretaries, Dale T. Tate and Kathleen M. Harington, are expected to follow Dole out the Labor Department door.

Tate, who served as deputy press secretary to Robert Dole in the Senate as well as spokeswoman for the senator's abortive presidential campaign, is expected to go to private industry. A former reporter, sources said Tate will probably become a corporate speech writer.

Harrington is the department's chief congressional lobbyist as assistant secretary for congressional affairs. Department sources said they expect her to leave but are unsure what she will do next. Harrington, who has long experience on Capitol Hill, has served as an assistant administrator for public affairs at the Federal Aviation Administration. She, too, worked in the Dole presidential campaign.

Not everyone in a position of responsibility will be leaving, however. At least three assistant secretaries in charge of key programs are expected to remain.

Gerard F. Scannell, who heads the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Roberts T. Jones, the assistant secretary of employment and training who rose through Labor Department ranks, are expected to stay. David G. Ball, assistant secretary for pension and welfare benefits, is believed secure and happy in his job. Politically, unlike many others in the department, Ball's ties are with Bush, through the president's brother in Connecticut.