DOL Wage & Hour Issues FMLA, FLSA Opinion Letters

An opinion letter is an official, written opinion by the division on how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by the individual person or entity that requested the letter. The requesting parties' names are not included in the letters to protect their privacy.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division has issued three new opinion letters that address compliance issues related to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

An opinion letter is an official, written opinion by the division on how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by the individual person or entity that requested the letter. The requesting parties' names are not included in the letters to protect their privacy, the letters state.

The opinion letters issued March 14 were:

  • FMLA2019-1-A: provides an opinion on the obligation to designate FMLA-qualifying leave and prohibition on expanding FMLA leave. This letter states that nothing in the FMLA prevents employers from adopting more generous leave policies than those required by the law, but an employer may not designate more than 12 weeks of leave -- or more than 26 weeks of military caregiver leave -- as FMLA-protected.
  • FLSA2019-1: clarifies FLSA wage and recordkeeping requirements for residential janitors and the "good faith" defense. This letter states that the division does not believe relying on a state law exemption from state law minimum wage and overtime requirements is a good faith defense to non-compliance with the FLSA, but a court has discretion to make that determination on a case-by-case basis.
  • FLSA2019-2: addresses FLSA compliance related to the compensability of time spent participating in an employer-sponsored community service program. This letter asked whether the time spent by employees who participate in the employer's optional volunteer program qualifies as hours worked under the FSLA, and the division determined that they do not.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - May 2022

    May 2022

    Featuring:

    • WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY
      How Wearable Technology is Transforming Safety and the Industrial Workplace
    • TRAINING: CONFINED SPACES
      Five Tips to Improve Safety in Confined Spaces
    • INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE
      Monitor for Asbestos to Help Save Lives
    • PPE: FALL PROTECTION
      Fall Protection Can Be Surprising
    View This Issue