New wage and hour opinion letters issued by Dept. of Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced today that it has issued three new opinion letters.

“The Department of Labor has committed to protect employees, enforce the law, and ensure employers have the tools for compliance,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “American job creators and employees deserve to know how an agency will apply the law to a particular set of facts. By addressing the application of statutes and regulations in the specific circumstances presented by an employer, employee, or other entity, opinion letters provide clarity that helps increase compliance to the benefit of all.”

The opinion letters released today 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

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, Secretary Acosta announced that the Department was resuming its longstanding practice of issuing opinion letters. The Department had issued opinion letters for more than 70 years before ceasing the practice in 2010.

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

The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.

To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at davidhiggins@southernmarylandchronicle.com

Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II




© 2019 The Southern Maryland Chronicle. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.