DOL Reinstates Wage and Hour Opinion Letters
On June 26, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that it will reinstate the issuance of opinion letters to employers and employees regarding application of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other statutes. As stated in DOL’s release, “an opinion letter is an official, written opinion by the Wage and Hour Division of how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by an employer, employee or other entity requesting the opinion.”
The opinion letter process, which had been a longstanding practice of DOL, was eliminated during the Obama administration and replaced with broader “Administrator Interpretations.” “Reinstating opinion letters will benefit employees and employers as they provide a means by which both can develop a clearer understanding of the FLSA and other statutes,” said Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.
To accompany the announcement, DOL has created a webpage for workers and employers where they can search for existing guidance that may address their questions and submit a request for an opinion letter.