The Field Operations Handbook (FOH) is an operations manual that provides Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigators and staff with interpretations of statutory provisions, procedures for conducting investigations, and general administrative guidance. The FOH was developed by the WHD under the general authority to administer laws that the agency is charged with enforcing. The FOH reflects policies established through changes in legislation, regulations, significant court decisions, and the decisions and opinions of the WHD Administrator. It is not used as a device for establishing interpretative policy.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is publishing this FOH on the internet pursuant to its obligation under FOIA to make available administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect members of the public, 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2), and as a public service to provide public access to information regarding DOL programs. It is important to note that there will often be a delay between the publication of changes in legislation, regulations, significant court decisions, and the decisions or opinions of the WHD Administrator and the modification of these pages. Therefore, these pages may not reflect current legislation, regulations, significant court decisions, and decisions and opinions of the WHD Administrator and no express or implied guarantees are indicated. The Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) remain the official resources for regulatory information published by the DOL. Any errors in the FOH should be brought to the attention of the WHD.

As part of an FOH modernization project, technical revisions that did not affect the substance of the FOH were made to the entire FOH in 2016. Accordingly those chapters were published with the same substantive content at an earlier time. As a result of FOH modernization, FOH chapters are now in a digital-native format and will no longer be page-based. Therefore, FOH headers, which previously provided historical revision information, will be removed as subsequent revisions are incorporated. Revision information will be tracked in two places: 1) revision information for revisions published after the 2016 FOH modernization revision are tracked within each chapter’s content with a notation below any revised subsection indicating the effective date of new modifications to that subsection; and 2) revision information on revisions published prior to the 2016 FOH modernization revision can be found at the link below each chapter title (coming soon).

Chapter 10: FLSA Coverage: Employment Relationship, Statutory Exclusions, Geographical Limits

Chapter 11: Individual Coverage: FLSA - [HTML]

Chapter 12: Enterprise Coverage - FLSA - [HTML]

Chapter 13: Coverage of the Public Contracts Act - [HTML]

Chapter 14: The McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act - [PDF]

Chapter 15: Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act - [HTML]

Chapter 16: Title III: Consumer Credit Protection Act (Wage Garnishment)

Chapter 20: Agriculture: Related and Seasonal Exemptions

Chapter 21: Retail or Service Establishment Exemptions from Sections 6 and 7 - [HTML]

Chapter 22: Executive, Administrative, Professional, Computer, and Outside Sales Exemptions: FLSA Section 13(a)(1) (29 USC 213(a)(1))

Chapter 23: Newspaper and Other Communication Exemptions  - [HTML]

Chapter 24: Transportation Exemptions - [HTML]

Chapter 25: Other Exemptions - [HTML]

Chapter 30: Records, Minimum Wage, and Payment of Wages

Chapter 31: Hours Worked - [HTML]

Chapter 32: Overtime - [HTML]

Chapter 33: Child Labor: FLSA - [HTML]

Chapter 36: Field Sanitation and Temporary Labor Camp Standards in Agriculture under the Occupational Safety and Health Act

Chapter 39: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) - [HTML]

Chapter 46: Enforcement of H-2B - [PDF]

Chapter 64: Employment of Workers with Disabilities at Subminimum Wages under Section 14(c) - [HTML]

Other Interpretive Guidance

Last Updated: 08/31/2017