On April 12, 2018, in an effort to provide meaningful compliance assistance to employers, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued three opinion letters and a fact sheet. An opinion letter is an official, written opinion that represents the DOL policy and describes how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by the person or entity requesting the letter.

The new opinion letters are:

  • What counts as work time under the FLSA when employees travel for work (See FLSA2018-18);
  • Whether 15-minute rest breaks required every hour by an employee’s serious health condition must be paid or may be uncompensated (See FLSA2018-19);
  •  Whether certain lump-sum payments from employers to employees are considered “earnings” for garnishment purposes under Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (See CCPA22018-1NA).

The new fact sheet discusses the applicability of the “white collar” exemptions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) relating to information on minimum wage and overtime exemptions common to higher education jobs, including teachers, coaches, professional employees, administrative employees, graduate teaching assistants, research assistants, and student residential assistants. The fact sheet compiles longstanding principles and information, making them more accessible to the regulated community.