If DOL opinion letters turn you on, sit down, maybe grab a cigarette, and read this blog post.

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By AgnosticPreachersKid – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The U.S. Department of Labor could have rested on its overtime-rule laurels in 2020. Instead, the DOL has wasted little time releasing three new opinion letters in 2020. I’ll break them down for you below.

  • FLSA2020-1: Addressing calculating overtime pay for a non-discretionary lump sum bonus paid at the end of a multi-week training period.

I’d try to take you through the hypothetical scenario posed to the DOL in FLSA2020-1, but it’s hecka-nuanced. So, I don’t need anyone reaching for HR’s secret bottle of Old Grand Dad Whiskey — the one you hide behind the SHRM-CP study materials — at this hour of the day.  Suffice it to say, for purposes of calculating overtime pay for a non-discretionary lump sum bonus paid at the end of a multi-week training period, you can probably spread the bonus evenly over each week of the training period.

  • FMLA2020-1-A: Addressing whether a combined general health district must count the employees of the county in which the health district is located for the purpose of determining FMLA eligibility for its employees.

I’ve got to be honest. I have no idea what a general health district is. None. So, I glazed over when reading this opinion letter. If you’re making the Joey face too, move on. Nothing to see here.

  • FLSA2020-2: Addressing whether per-project payments satisfy the salary basis test for exemption.

Let’s assume that you have employees that satisfy the duties tests of the administrative or professional exemptions. You decide that you want to pay these employees per project in “equal pre-determined installments” biweekly or monthly. That’s kinda like a salary. But, does it satisfy the salary basis test for the administrative and professional exemptions?

Yes, you’re good as long as the employees are paid a pre-determined amount of at least $684 per week that is not subject to reduction because of variations in the quality or quantity of work performed. The you won’t have to pay OT.

The DOL should bottle this opinion letter stuff into a fragrance, yes?

Eau de compliance by DOL. A little spritz at a SHRM conference and see what happens. Grrrr.

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