DOL to resume issuing wage-hour opinion letters

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will reinstate the issuance of opinion letters. The action allows the Department’s Wage and Hour Division to use opinion letters as one of its methods for providing guidance to covered employers and employees. 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 stopped and replaced by general guidance in 2010. The Division has established a webpage where the public can see if existing agency guidance already addresses their questions or submit a request for an opinion letter. The webpage explains what to include in the request, where to submit the request, and where to review existing guidance. The Division will exercise discretion in determining which requests for opinion letters will be responded to, and the appropriate form of guidance to be issued. (DOL News Release Number: 17-0914-NAT, June 27, 2017.)

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