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US DOL Issues New Opinion Letters Addressing FLSA

On November 30, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released the following new opinion letters addressing Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compliance:

  • FLSA2020-17: Addressing whether an employee’s regular rate of pay, who is paid on a piece-rate basis, may be calculated by dividing total earnings by the number of productive and nonproductive hours worked during the workweek in the absence of a specific agreement with the employee to use such calculation.
  • FLSA2020-18: Addressing whether insect farming qualifies as agriculture under the FLSA and whether certain workers employed by an insect farming operation may be exempt from overtime pay requirements.

On December 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) also released the following new opinion letters addressing Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compliance:

  • FLSA2020-19: Addressing whether certain travel time occurring on a partial telework day is compensable under the FLSA.
  • FLSA2020-20: Addressing whether certain overtime payments based on an expected number of hours worked may be credited towards the amount of overtime pay owed under the FLSA and whether such overtime payments are excludable from the regular rate.

Next Steps for Employers

Employers should review the opinion letters to determine whether they may have any applicability to their business operations. However, employers should be mindful that FLSA regulations and Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued opinion letters do not address every conceivable situation, and employers with circumstances that do not fit squarely within the scenarios examined in the opinion letters, should consult with legal counsel prior to making decisions. Employers must also consider whether state wage and hour laws have different requirements that may take precedence over federal law.

HR Works, Inc., headquartered at 200 WillowBrook Office Park in Fairport (Rochester), New York, with an office in East Syracuse, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.