Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
U.S. Department of Labor Issues Four New Wage and Hour Opinion Letters
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced four 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 Wage and Hour Division remains committed to providing guidance and compliance assistance to workers and employers even during this difficult time,” said Wage and Hour Administrator Cheryl Stanton. “As businesses continue to reopen and rebuild, the Wage and Hour Division will continue to make clear the rules of the road during the economic recovery allowing workers to return to work and prosper again.”
The opinion letters issued today are:
- FLSA2020-11: Addresses whether a private “oilfield service company” that provides waste-removal services for oilfield operators may qualify as a “retail or service establishment” eligible to claim the FLSA’s Section 7(i) exemption for certain truck drivers whom it employs;
- FLSA2020-12: Addresses an employer’s compliance with FLSA’s minimum wage requirements when reimbursing delivery drivers for business-related expenses incurred while using their personal vehicles during the course of employment;
- FLSA2020-13: Addresses whether part-time employees who provide corporate-management training and are paid a day rate with additional hourly compensation qualify for the learned professional exemption and the highly compensated employee test under Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA; and
- FLSA2020-14: Addresses whether employees’ hours must fluctuate above and below 40 hours per week to qualify for the fluctuating workweek method of calculating overtime pay.
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.
With today’s release, the Wage and Hour Division has now issued 65 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 paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, 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.