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U.S. Department of Labor Announces 5 New Opinion Letters

Hey Compliance Warriors!

The U.S. Department of Labor today announced five new opinion letters that provide compliance assistance related to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and how to properly classify overtime-exempt employees in specific situations. Read on…


Opinion letters are an official, written opinion by the Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) on how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by the person or entity that requested the letter.

The opinion letters issued today are:

  • FLSA2020-6: Addresses whether salespeople who travel to different locations to sell products using their employer’s mobile assets qualify for the outside sales exemption under FLSA section 13(a)(1);
  • FLSA2020-7: Addresses whether an automobile manufacturer’s direct payments to an automobile dealership’s employee, compensating the employee for work done on behalf of the dealership, may count toward the dealership’s minimum wage obligation to the employee under the FLSA;
  • FLSA2020-8: Addresses whether salespeople who set up displays and perform demonstrations at various retail locations not owned, operated, or controlled by their employer to sell the employer’s products qualify for the outside sales employee exemption under Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA;
  • FLSA2020-9: Addresses whether emergency-management coordinators employed by a county government qualify for administrative exemptions under Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA; and
  • FLSA2020-10: Addresses the application of the retail or service commission sales exemption under Section 7(i) of the FLSA, where more than half of an employee’s compensation in the relevant representative period ultimately does not consist of commissions.

WHD has issued 61 opinion letters since January 20, 2017.

The public can search for existing opinion letters by keyword, year, topic and a variety of other filters on the WHD’s website. The Department also encourages the public to submit requests for opinion letters to WHD to obtain an opinion or to determine whether existing guidance already addresses their questions. WHD exercises its discretion in determining whether and how it will respond to each request.

Be safe and Be Audit-Secure!


Lisa Smith is CEO of Andere Corporation and Chief Content Developer at HelpDeskSuites.com. Follow her on Twitter, connect with her on LinkedIn, listen to her Small Business Spoonfuls Podcast, and find more in her Compliance Warriors Facebook Group.

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