DOL Releases New Opinion Letters Regarding FLSA, FMLA

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor (DOL) today announced it has issued six new opinion letters, which it says “demonstrates the agency’s continued commitment to providing meaningful compliance assistance to help employees understand their rights and ensure that employers have the information they need to comply with federal labor laws.” The letters address compliance issues under both the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

whd-releases-new-opinion-letters“Opinion letters help provide greater clarity for American job creators and employees,” said WHD Deputy Administrator Bryan Jarrett. “The opinion letters issued today show the ongoing efforts of the Department to provide the tools employers need to comply with the law and protect workers.”

These opinion letters address the following issues:

  • Organ donors’ qualification for FMLA leave
  • Compensability of time spent voluntarily attending benefit fairs and certain wellness activities
  • Application of the movie theater overtime exemption to a movie theater that also offers dining services
  • Application of the commissioned sales employee overtime exemption to a company that sells an internet payment software platform
  • Volunteer status of nonprofit members serving as credentialing examination graders
  • “No-fault” attendance policies and roll-off of attendance points under the FMLA

The department also now offers a search function allowing users to search opinion letters by keyword, year, topic, and a variety of other filters.

An opinion letter is an official, written opinion by WHD on how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by the person or entity requesting the letter. The public is encouraged to submit requests for opinion letters to WHD and can visit this webpage to learn how to request an opinion letter or determine whether existing agency guidance already addresses their questions.

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. WHD says it will exercise discretion in determining whether and how it will respond to each request.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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