Vision Payroll

February 28, 2010

US Department of Labor Issues and Withdraws Opinion Letter on Overtime Pay for Employees with Fluctuating Workweeks

The US Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued Administrator signed Opinion Letter FLSA2009-24. 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). Because the letter was apparently never mailed after it was signed, the DOL under new Secretary Hilda L. Solis has decided to withdraw the letter for further consideration. Therefore, this letter may not be relied upon as a statement of agency policy. It is possible that a different conclusion may be reached when the Opinion Letter is reissued.

In this Opinion Letter, the DOL had opined that a proposed pay system complied with the fluctuating-workweek method of payment. Under the proposed method, the employer would calculate the regular rate of pay by dividing a non-exempt employee’s fixed salary by 40 hours, regardless of the number of hours actually worked in that week, and using that rate to determine any overtime premium or double-time premium to be paid.

State laws may provide rules that are more beneficial to the employee and must be followed. The DOL may come to a different conclusion when it reissues the Opinion Letter after further consideration. Contact Vision Payroll if you have questions about this Opinion Letter.

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