December 07, 2008
US Department of Labor Issues Opinion Letter on Volunteering Under the FLSA
Filed under: News
Vision Payroll

The US Department of Labor recently issued non-Administrator signed Opinion Letter FLSA2008-11NA. Although Opinion Letters only apply to the exact set of facts and circumstances presented in each case, they are a valuable aid in understanding current interpretations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Unlike signed Opinion Letters, unsigned Opinion Letters do not “provide a potential good faith reliance defense for violations of the FLSA.”

This Opinion Letter discusses whether Adult Detention Officers may volunteer as Reserve Sheriff Deputies under the FLSA. According to the Opinion Letter “[p]ublic safety employees taking on any kind of security or safety function within the same local government are never considered to be employed in a different capacity.” Therefore, volunteering as deputy sheriffs in the same public agency is not allowed for detention officers under the FLSA. The detention officers may volunteer, however, “[i]f the two employers are not the same public agency”. Opinion Letters FLSA2006-28 and FLSA2006-21NA both discuss how to determine if two employers are the same agency.

State laws may provide rules that are more beneficial to the employee and must be followed. Contact Vision Payroll if you have questions about this Opinion Letter.


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