Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Three New Wage and Hour Opinion Letters

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced three new opinion letters that address compliance issues related to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). An opinion letter is an official, written opinion by the Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) on how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by the person or entity that requested the letter.

The opinion letters issued today are:

  • FLSA2020-3: Addressing excludability of longevity payments from the regular rate of pay;
  • FLSA2020-4: Addressing excludability of referral bonuses from the regular rate of pay; and
  • FLSA2020-5: Addressing excludability of an employer’s contributions to a group term-life insurance policy from the regular rate of pay.

All three of the opinion letters published today provide further clarity on the department’s recently announced Final Rule on FLSA regular rate requirements, which allows employers to more easily offer perks and benefits to their employees.

The public can search for existing opinion letters by keyword, year, topic and a variety of other filters on the department’s website. The department also encourages the public to submit requests for opinion letters to WHD to obtain an opinion or to determine whether existing guidance already addresses their questions. The division exercises its discretion in determining whether and how it will respond to each request.

These are the 54th, 55th and 56th WHD opinion letters since Jan. 20, 2017.

WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces Federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor requirements of the FLSA. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the FMLA, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Wage and Hour Division
March 26, 2020
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Media Contact: Emily Weeks
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