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On Nov. 3, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued two opinion letters addressing specific compliance issues related to compensability of time under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

According to a DOL news release, the two opinion letters are:

  • FLSA2020-15: Addressing the compensability of time that employees spend attending voluntary training programs in certain situations. The letter discusses six hypothetical scenarios of employees participating in a voluntary training program and stipulates that the employee does not perform productive work during the training.
  • FLSA2020-16: Addressing compensability of employee travel time in certain situations involving construction sites located away from the employer’s principal place of business. The letter discusses both the compensability of a foremen and a laborer’s travel time.

In addition to the opinion letters, in August, the WHD issued  Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-5, which clarifies employers’ obligations to track the hours of compensable work of employees who are teleworking. The agency has also published various compliance assistance materials and resources on COVID-19, including a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers resource about paid sick and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The DOL 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. More information on these opinion letters and other FLSA opinion letters can be found on the DOL website.