U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Wage and Hour Opinion Letters
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued three new opinion letters on April 12.
An opinion letter is an official document authored by WHD on how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by the person or entity requesting the letter. Opinion letters represent official statements of agency policy.
The latest opinion letters address compliance under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other laws:
- What counts as work time under the FLSA when employees travel for work
- Whether 15-minute rest breaks required every hour by an employee’s serious health condition must be paid or may be uncompensated
- Whether certain lump-sum payments from employers to employees are considered “earnings” for garnishment purposes under Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act
In June 2017, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced that the department was resuming its longstanding practice of issuing opinion letters. The department had issued these letters for more than 70 years before ceasing the practice in 2010.
The public is encouraged to submit requests for an opinion letter to WHD.
WHD will exercise discretion in determining whether and how it will respond to each request.
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