The U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) continues to be among the busiest of DOL’s sub-agencies as evidenced by the recent publication of five new opinion letters offering interpretations of issues arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). While one of the five letters deals with an issue related to government employees, the other four, all signed by Wage and Hour Administrator Cheryl Stanton, address particular issues that may be relevant to those who employ sales employees.

FLSA opinion letters are issued by WHD on a periodic basis in response to a request for guidance from a stakeholder, and represent the Department of Labor’s current enforcement stance on a specific FLSA compliance issue. While opinion letters do not have the same force as an agency regulation, the courts often have given them deference when ruling on FLSA compliance matters.

Two of the opinion letters address application of the FLSA’s exemption for “outside sales” employees, while a third addresses the overtime exemption for certain retail sales employees paid by commission. The fourth addresses the extent to which payments made by a third party to an employer’s sales consultants may be treated as wages for purposes of the employer’s minimum wage obligations.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.