On April 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued 3 new opinion letters addressing compliance under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other laws. The DOL issued the letters as part of its commitment to protect employees, enforce the law, and ensure employers have the tools for compliance. These particular opinion letters address the following:
- What counts as work time under the FLSA when employees travel for work (found here)
- Whether 15-minute rest breaks required every hour by an employee’s serious health condition must be paid or may be uncompensated (found here)
- Whether certain lump-sum payments from employers to employees are considered “earnings” for garnishment purposes under Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (found here).
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. In June 2017, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced that the DOL was resuming its longstanding practice of issuing opinion letters. The DOL had issued opinion letters for more than 70 years before ceasing the practice in 2010.
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