The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division announced it will no longer issue fact-specific definitive opinion letters in response to questions submitted by individuals and organizations.  According to the Division, its opinion letters provide only limited guidance to broad categories of employers and employees where slight factual differences in the facts assumed in the letter could result in a different outcome. 

In the future, the Division intends to issue Administrative Interpretations to "set forth a general interpretation of the law and regulations, applicable across-the-board to all those affected by the provision in issue"  and to "clarify[] the law as it relates to an entire industry, a category of employees, or to all employees."

The Division will continue to respond to requests for opinion letters with references to statutes, regulations, interpretations and cases that relevant to the request but without analysis of the specifics facts presented. You can access the Divisions new Administrative Interpretations page here.