By Mitzi Wyrick
The United States Department of Labor Has Revived its Practice of Issuing Opinion Letters
Under the Obama Administration, the DOL’s Wage & Hour Division ceased issuing Opinion Letters and undertook the practice of issuing Administrator’s Interpretations which were designed to set forth generally applicable interpretations of the law and regulations unrelated to particular employers or industries. Previously, the DOL preferred to offer written Opinion Letters demonstrating how the law or regulations applied in particular circumstances when requested to do so by employers, employees or other entities. On June 27, 2017, the DOL revived its practice of issuing Opinion Letters. At the same time, the DOL issued guidance on how to request an Opinion Letter, which can be found here: https://www.dol.gov/whd/opinion/opinion-request-1.htm. While an Opinion Letter can provide an employer a good faith defense against liquidated damages, the decision to request an Opinion Letter should be carefully considered.
The DOL’s decision to resume issuing Opinion Letters may Continue reading