Archives: Department of Labor

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Eyes and Ears on the FLSA – U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Opinion Letters and Schedules Public Listening Sessions (US)

On August 28, 2018, the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor (“WHD”) issued four new opinion letters interpreting various aspects of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  In addition, the WHD has announced plans to analyze and consider changes to the FLSA’s white collar overtime exemption regulations applicable to … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Forms New Interagency Compliance Office

This week, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced that the Department of Labor (DOL), in collaboration with other federal employment agencies, was creating an Office of Compliance Initiatives (OCI). The DOL, through its various divisions, oversees compliance with and enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Occupational Safety and … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Expands Association Health Plans

On Tuesday, June 18, 2018, The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) released its long-anticipated final rule on association health plans, allowing small businesses to band together by geography or industry to create health plans as if they were a single large employer. Association health plans will not be subject to the Affordable Care Act’s essential … Continue Reading

US DOL’s Voluntary Wage Underpayment Reporting Program – PAID – Now Underway

As we blogged earlier this year, in March 2018, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new program, referred to as PAID (or, Payroll Audit Independent Determination), under which employers may voluntarily apply for DOL assistance in resolving potential claims for wage underpayment under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  As previously … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Announces New Pilot Employer Self-Reporting Program To Address Overtime and Minimum Wage Violations (US)

On March 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a new, nationwide pilot program which it claims will facilitate quick and efficient resolutions of Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) minimum wage and overtime violations by allowing employers to promptly pay back wages to employees and at the same time avoid time consuming litigation … Continue Reading

Ready Or Not, Here They Come … the U.S. Department of Labor Provides Notice of Future Audits (US)

On February 1, 2018, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”), Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) issued 1,000 Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (“CSAL”) to US federal contractor employers, indicating that the letter recipients have been selected for audit of their compliance with federal Affirmative Action regulations.  CSAL recipients were selected through the Federal … Continue Reading

State of the Union Address Provides Hints of Trump Administration Priorities for U.S. Employers

In his first State of the Union Address, President Trump made the case for his first year in office as one of extraordinary legislative and regulatory accomplishments as part of his Administration’s efforts to build a “Safe, Strong, and Proud America.” In fact, 2017 was not a year of major legislative accomplishments, with the exception … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Reinstates Previously Rescinded Wage and Hour Opinion Letters (US)

On January 5, 2018, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reissued 17 advisory Opinion Letters that were published during the final months of former President George W. Bush’s administration, but were subsequently rescinded by the Obama administration.  Opinion Letters do not establish new law, but instead are vehicles through … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Abandons Strict, Six-Factor Intern Test In Favor Of Flexible “Primary Beneficiary” Test (US)

On Friday, January 5, 2018, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a statement that it will no longer follow its six-factor test in determining whether an individual is a non-employee intern (rather than an employee) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), and instead will apply a broader analysis commonly referred to as … Continue Reading

DOL Delays “Final Rule” for ERISA Disability Benefits

On November 29, 2017, The Department of Labor delayed through April 1, 2018, the applicability of a Final Rule amending the claims procedure requirements applicable to ERISA-covered employee benefit plans that provide disability benefits. The purpose of the Final Rule was to add procedural protections and safeguards similar to those applicable to group health plans … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Refuses to Give Progressive a (Rest) Break on Compensable Flex Time Policy

On October 13, 2017, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled in a precedential decision that employers are obligated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to pay their employees for breaks of 20 minutes or less, even if they are logged off their computers and free from any work-related duties. The … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Refuses to Defer to DOL’s Interpretative Guidance on FLSA Tip Credit Regulation

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) provides that employers ordinarily must pay their non-exempt employees at least the federal minimum hourly wage of $7.25.  However, employers may pay “tipped employees” as little as $2.13 per hour if they regularly earn more than $30 per month in tips, and then make up the difference between the … Continue Reading

Texas Federal Judge Invalidates Obama-Era Overtime Regulations

In 2016, the Department of Labor issued long-awaited amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) regulations that would have raised the minimum salary for employees exempt under the so-called “white collar” exemptions from $455/week ($23,660 annually) to $913/week ($47,476 annually) (the “Final Rule”). The Final Rule also would have required an upward adjustment to … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Resumes Issuing Opinion Letters To Assist Employers Navigate Federal Wage & Hour and Leave Laws

Newly appointed Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced on June 27 that the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) would resume issuing opinion letters in response to employers and employees who submit inquiries seeking fact-specific interpretations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).  Opinion letters are official, interpretative … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Withdraws Obama-Era Interpretation Letters On Key Wage And Hour Issues

On June 7, 2017, the US Department of Labor (DOL) withdrew its 2015 Administrator’s Interpretation on “independent contractor” status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and its 2016 Administrator’s Interpretation for determining “joint employment” under the FLSA. The two guidance memos specifically were intended to increase liability for employers under the Fair Labor Standards … Continue Reading

DOJ Seeks Another Extension of Time to Respond In Appeal On DOL Overtime Rule

As we previously reported, in November 2016, a Texas District Court’s temporary restraining order halted implementation of the Obama administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) regulations that were set to expand overtime pay for many US workers starting in December 2016.  The Obama administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) appealed that order, and asked for expedited review by the … Continue Reading

The DOL Fiduciary Rule: Are Commission Structures for Retirement Investment Advisers a Thing of the Past?

On Wednesday, February 9, a Texas federal judge upheld the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) controversial fiduciary rule for retirement investment advisers — just hours after the agency had asked to stay the case in light of President Donald Trump’s directive to it on February 3rd to conduct an “economic and legal analysis” of the … Continue Reading

New Overtime Regulations Put On Hold – U.S. Federal Court Judge Enjoins Implementation of FLSA Regulations

As we reported previously, in September 2016, 21 U.S. states filed a lawsuit to enjoin the implementation of the long-anticipated Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) regulations, which were scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016. The states argued that the Department of Labor’s regulations (the “Final Rule”) would force states and businesses to … Continue Reading

New FLSA Overtime Regulations Set to Become Effective In Just Days, But Further Developments Are Anticipated

As we have previously reported, the final FLSA overtime rule is set to go into effect on December 1, 2016—now just days away.  The new rule raises the salary threshold for workers to qualify as exempt from overtime pay requirements from $455 to $913 per week (or from $23,660 to $47,476 per year), and increases … Continue Reading

Texas District Court Permanently Enjoins DOL’s New Persuader Rule

On Wednesday, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted a motion for summary judgment filed by a group of employers and law firms against the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) new interpretation of the persuader rule, and entered a nationwide permanent injunction barring the rule’s application. The Labor Management Reporting and … Continue Reading

US DOL Issues Final Rule Requiring Paid Sick Leave for Employees of Federal Contractors

On Thursday, the US Department of Labor released the long-awaited final rule that requires federal contractors to provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per year to employees.  The final rule implements President Obama’s 2015 executive order and is expected to impact more than 1.1 million workers. Effective Date:  The rule will apply … Continue Reading
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