As a surprising new gift from the Trump Administration, the Department of Labor has decided that it will again start issuing opinion letters on thorny questions about the FMLA and the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division.
For reasons that were never quite clear, the Obama Administration had done away with the practice; instead preferring to sporadically issue administrator interpretations.
For employers, opinion letters are often more helpful as you can tell the DOL your specific facts and get a tailored opinion instead of having to try to apply a theory to your facts.
A lot of my clients are understandably nervous about submitting a request for an opinion letter for fear that the DOL will come knocking if they opine that the employer’s practice is in violation of the law. That is where your employment counsel comes in handy. Counsel can submit requests on behalf of clients without disclosing the identity of the client to the DOL.
So, if you have been dying to know the answer to a sticky question, you may want to consider requesting an opinion letter. If you are interested in obtaining an opinion letter, the DOL has a helpful link on its website or you can contact employment counsel to help your craft and submit a request.