An opinion letter is an official written opinion by WHD of how a particular law that WHD enforces applies in specific circumstances presented by an employer, employee, or other entity requesting the opinion.
Review Existing Guidance
Before requesting an opinion letter, please consult the following agency guidance and compliance assistance materials which may address your question:
- Relevant regulations
- Previously published Administrator Interpretations, opinion letters, and Field Assistance Bulletins
- The Wage an Hour Division's Field Operations Handbook (FOH).
- Overview of the various laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division
- Detailed information specific to each law enforced by the Wage and Hour Division may be obtained from:
- A collection of materials addressing the application of wage and hour laws to specific industries and occupations is available on the Wage and Hour Division Industry Specific Resources page.
Finally, employees or employers may call the Wage and Hour Division's toll-free hotline at 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243) Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, or call or visit their local Wage and Hour Office to ask about the laws that WHD enforces. Complaints may be filed by calling or visiting the local Wage and Hour Office.
What to Include in Your Opinion Letter Request
A request for an opinion must include a representation that the opinion is not sought:
- By a party in a Wage and Hour investigation, its representative, or any third party acting on its behalf; or
- By a party, its representative, or any third party acting on its behalf for use in any litigation that was initiated prior to the submission of the opinion letter request.
The Wage and Hour Division will deny all future opinion letter requests from any party who fails to comply with these representations.
A request for an opinion letter should also include:
- The specific statute and regulations with respect to which an opinion is sought;
- A description of any facts that might be relevant to the opinion sought (e.g., the nature of the employer's business, an employee's job duties or work schedule, the amount and structure of any compensation, etc.);
- The requestor's email address (to which a receipt confirmation of the request may be sent);
- A telephone number should the Wage and Hour Division need to discuss the request with the requestor; and
- The requestor's signature, if submitted via mail.
A requestor may withdraw his or her request for an opinion at any time prior to the issuance of the guidance; withdrawal requests may be documented in a letter or email sent by the requestor.
Please do not include any personal privacy information (e.g., social security numbers, etc.) in the content of your request for guidance. Additionally, please do not include information in your request that you consider to be a trade secret or confidential commercial information. Any information that you include in the content of your request may be incorporated into any response that we provide; such responses are made available to the public on WHD's website.
Where to Submit an Opinion Letter Request
If after consulting existing agency guidance and compliance assistance materials you still wish to request an opinion letter, please submit your guidance request via mail or email as follows:
- via mail:
U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Division of Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation
200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room S-3502
Washington, D.C. 20210
- via email:
The Wage and Hour Division exercises discretion in determining which requests for opinion letters will be responded to and the appropriate form of guidance to be issued in response (i.e., Administrator-signed opinion letter, non-Administrator opinion letter, Administrator Interpretation). The Wage and Hour Division processes requests for guidance as expeditiously as possible.