The Franchise Owner's most trusted news source


Log In / Register | Oct 24, 2017

Employers Welcome Back DOL Wage and Hour Opinion Letters

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced it will reinstate the issuance of opinion letters by its Wage and Hour Division. The announcement by U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta is a welcome development for employers, who had previously relied on these interpretive opinions in deciphering and complying with the oftentimes confusing requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

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 letters were a Division practice for more than 70 years until being discontinued in 2009 by the Obama administration, and replaced in 2010 by more generalized interpretations, as opposed to the highly fact specific opinion letters.

“Reinstating opinion letters will benefit employees and employers as they provide a means by which both can develop a clearer understanding of the Fair Labor Standards Act and other statutes,” said Secretary Acosta. “The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to helping employers and employees clearly understand their labor responsibilities so employers can concentrate on doing what they do best: growing their businesses and creating jobs.”

The Wage and Hours Division has established a webpage where employers can request an opinion letter or review other agency guidance regarding FLSA compliance.

No votes yet

About Mark Fijman

Mark Fijman's picture

Public Profile

Mark Fijman specializes in labor and employment issues relating to the restaurant and hospitality industry, including Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") compliance. He is an attorney in the Labor and Employment Section of law firm Phelps Dunbar, LLP’s Jackson, Mississippi office. He can be contacted at (601) 360-9716 or FijmanM@Phelps.com.

Fijman represents and advises employers regarding federal and state employment laws dealing with race, age, disability, gender, national origin and religious discrimination and in administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. His practice includes representing employers seeking to enforce non-competition/non-solicitation agreements and pursuing injunctive relief for improper use of proprietary information.He routinely counsels on issues ranging from overtime questions to discipline and termination decisions. Direct phone: (601) 360-9716.  Phelps Dunbar, LLP has offices in New Orleans, LA, Baton Rouge, LA, Houston, TX, Tampa, FL, Mobile, AL, Raleigh, NC, Jackson, MS, Gulfport, MS, Tupelo, MS and London, England.

Area of Interest
Franchise Consultant