DOL clarifies minimum wages for recreational employees

The Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division is taking action on President Trump’s May 25, 2018, Executive Order exempting seasonal outdoor guides and outfitters on federal lands from President Obama’s Executive Order 13568 (Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors) issued in 2014. Trump issued his exempting executive order in order to prevent job losses and ensure affordable guided tours on federal lands, according to the DOL.

Following up, the WHD has issued new guidance to contracting agencies and the public concerning Trump’s executive action. The DOL also announced that it intends to undertake rulemaking to amend its regulations to reflect the exemption.


The WHD guidance confirms that “the requirements of EO 13658 do not apply to contracts or contract-like instruments with the Federal Government for seasonal recreational equipment rental and seasonal recreational services on federal lands, including river running, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, mountaineering activities, recreational ski services, and youth camps.”

The WHD will continue to administer and enforce EO 13658 as it applies to contracts that remain wholly or partly covered by EO 13658, including those that offer lodging and food services associated with seasonal recreational services, which the DOL noted in its release generally involve more regular work schedules and normal amounts of overtime work. (U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, All Agency Memorandum Number 228, July 13, 2018.)

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