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Total Articles: 22

Listen Up – USDOL Reveals Little In Public Listening Sessions

Last month, the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) Wage and Hour Division announced that it would hold public listening sessions, inviting members of the public to comment on the FLSA's white-collar exemptions.

WHD Issues More Opinion Letters: One Addresses Whether Wellness Activities Constitute Compensable Time

On August 28, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) released six opinion letters—four involving the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and two involving the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The four wage-and-hour opinion letters address the following topics:

Caregiver Registries Find Key Information on Employment Relationship Determinations in WHD Field Assistance Bulletin

On July 13, 2018, the acting administrator for the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2018-4 to assist field staff in determining when home care, nurse, or caregiver registries will be considered employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

DOL Issues New Information on its PAID Self-Audit and Self-Reporting Program

Last month, we reported on the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division’s (“WHD”) newly created Payroll Audit Independent Determination (“PAID”) Program, through which employers can proactively seek to resolve potential and actual violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The WHD recently issued additional information on the program. While not all-encompassing, the new publication sheds more light on the program’s mechanics and the “steps” employers must take to participate.

DOL Issues Opinion Letters on Rest Breaks, Travel Time and Garnishments

The US Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued three new opinion letters, the first in nearly a decade since the Obama administration abandoned the longstanding practice in 2010.

DOL Launches "PAID" Self-Audit Program

On April 3, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) launched the Payroll Audit Independent Determination program (PAID) on a six-month trial basis. The intent of the program is to allow employers to pay back wages to workers for inadvertent overtime and minimum wage violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) while avoiding penalties and litigation expenses.

PAID Update: WHD Releases Supplemental Information on the Self-Audit Program

On April 3, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) released additional information concerning its Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program. The information can be accessed on a PAID portal on the DOL’s website. As you may recall, the PAID program is a pilot program that enables employers to conduct self-audits to assess Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compliance and voluntarily report violations to the WHD. Assuming certain conditions are met, the WHD will supervise the payment of back wages to employees impacted by the FLSA violation.

What to Make of the DOL'S PAID Program

You may have read about the U.S. Department of Labor’s new “Payroll Audit Independent Determination” or “PAID’’ pilot program. Under this program, the DOL invites employers to voluntarily audit their payroll practices and disclose any “non-compliant practices” to the DOL. The DOL then reviews the employer’s records and calculations of what is owed to employees, and tells the employer what it thinks the employer should pay. The employer then pays its employees, and employees sign a release of any FLSA claims against the employer. Participating employers are not subject to civil monetary penalties and are not required to pay liquidated damages to employees. (Available details on the program are included in the DOL’s press release and a FAQ page on the DOL’s website.)

Getting "PAID" Just Got Easier: The DOL Rolls out a Pilot Initiative to Streamline the Resolution of Wage and Hour Violations

Executive Summary. On March 6, 2018, the Wage and Hour Division (W&HD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rolled out a new nationwide pilot initiative, called the Payroll Audit Independent Determination program—or “PAID.” This initiative is designed to streamline the resolution process of potential overtime and minimum wage violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Such potential violations as “off-the-clock” work violations, failures to pay overtime wages, or employee misclassification would expressly fall within the ambit of PAID. According to the W&HD, PAID’s objectives are expeditious resolution of FLSA claims without litigation, improved employer compliance with its overtime and minimum wage obligations under the law, and a fast delivery of owed back wages to workers.

DOL Launches Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) Program to Promote Self-Reporting and Early Resolution of Wage and Hour Claims

On March 6, 2018, the U.S Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division announced its new Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program. Initially being rolled out as a six-month pilot program, PAID provides employers with a unique opportunity—and indeed, motivation—to proactively address potential wage and hour underpayments under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) while simultaneously helping to protect themselves against litigation threats from the DOL and individual employees. While the details of the PAID program are yet to be announced, the DOL has announced the basic outline.

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Self-Audit Program

Mistakes happen. But when those mistakes result in a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, what is an employer to do? Pay twice the amount of wages owed to cover both back wages and an amount equal to liquidated damages? Hope no one notices? Well, thanks to the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the DOL, another option is now available to provide “make whole” relief to the employees and a binding release of FLSA claims for the employer, without the agency penalties and without the liquidated damages that may provide nothing more than a windfall to employees who have received all wages due.

Trump Taps Stanton to Head Wage and Hour Division

The White House intends to nominate Cheryl Stanton to be Administrator of the US Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD).

WHD Provides Long-Awaited Garnishment Guidance on the Meaning of “Earnings” Under the CCPA

A rare and interesting thing in the world of federal garnishment law has just occurred: the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) updated its published position concerning the meaning of “earnings” pursuant to the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA). This is important because the Department of Labor has issued very little regulation interpreting the CCPA and none define what the CCPA means by “earnings.” And, while there are several opinion letters from the years directly after the CCPA was adopted, only one such letter has been issued since 1972. Keep in mind that the federal decision concerning what is or is not CCPA-earnings (such as disability payments, tips and lump sum bonus payments, which are addressed herein) is critical because if the funds are not CCPA-protected earnings then states decide whether to garnish those funds and how much, if any, of those funds to protect from garnishment.

A More Employer-Friendly Wage and Hour Division Expected Under Trump

When Donald Trump becomes president on January 20, most experts predict that the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) will take a more employer-friendly approach toward enforcement.

Labor Dept. Says Again: No More Opinions For Employers on the FLSA

From the federal Fair Labor Standards Act‘s inception in 1938, employers sought, and officials of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division provided, official written explanations of how that law works in particular situations.

DOL Wage and Hour Division Announces Fiscal Year 2014 Recovery of $240 Million From Employers

Last week, Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) Administrator Dr. David Weil, who we have profiled in the past, announced on the DOL’s blog that WHD recovered more than $240 million dollars from employers on behalf of workers during fiscal year 2014, which ended last September. This total was down about 4% from last year’s $249 million, but is still an enormous total given WHD’s limited investigative capabilities.

And the Numbers Are Finally In . . . Wage and Hour Division Releases Enforcement Statistics

After a long hiatus, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its updated enforcement statistics for fiscal years (FY) 2009 through 2013. The federal government’s fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30, and the statistics are updated through the 2013 fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2013. In the WHD’s “welcome” message to its statistics web page, Fiscal Year Statistics for WHD, the agency noted that it was providing this enforcement information in the interest of accountability transparency and responsiveness. The agency failed to acknowledge that the previous administration had released enforcement data for FY 2001 through FY 2008, but the current administration had ceased to do so until the WHD released this data.

Senate Confirms First Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division Administrator in Decade

The Senate voted narrowly on Monday to confirm David Weil as administrator of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). The narrow 51-42 majority followed a similarly narrow 12-10 party-line committee vote in December. The WHD is the DOL division that, among other duties, implements and enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations and oversees various worker misclassification initiatives we have reported on previously. The Senate had not confirmed a WHD administrator since 2001, and since 2004 the position has been filled by acting leaders and a recess appointee. President Obama controversially nominated Dr. Weil, a respected Boston University professor, Harvard researcher, and DOL advisor, to fill the position in September 2013. Weil was the administration’s third nominee for the position.

Beware Draconian USDOL Settlement Terms

The scope of potential punishments in federal Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuits brought by the U.S. Labor Department apparently is being limited only by the imaginations of its lawyers. A recent consent judgment against an operator of residential-care facilities for developmentally disabled adults suggests that employers should not be surprised by unorthodox USDOL settlement demands.

What To Do When the DOL Makes an Unannounced Visit

Two federal agents arrive at your workplace and ask to interview all of your employees and see all of your payroll records for the last two years. Their business cards say that they are investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division. What do you do?

Polyglot for Wage and Hour Administrator.

Almost two years into his term, President Obama is making a 2nd try at an Administrator for the Wage and Hour division of the Department of Labor, with his nomination of Leon Rodriguez, currently a DOJ lawyer and formerly County Attorney for Montgomery County, Maryland.

The DOL's Wage and Hour Division will no longer provide fact-specific Opinion Letters.

Title 29 of the U.S. Code provides direction, regulation, and information regarding issues affecting labor, and includes the Fair Labor Standards Act, which addresses both federal minimum wage issues and the laws regulating overtime pay. The issues addressed under Title 29 are administered, in large part, by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor (DOL).
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