The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor must allocate its resources just like other organizations. For many years, it has tried to focus on industries where it believes there is systematic or prevalent problems, and also those industries in which the employees are least likely to complain because of their vulnerability. One casualty is that recently Wage-Hour ceased issuing opinion letters, although they will continue to issue administrative interpretations. The agency is currently working on revising the overtime regulations, reportedly to greatly increase the necessary requirements to meet the "white collar" exemptions from overtime pay.
An issue recently emphasized by newly appointed wage-hour administrator David Weil is to address situations where a business controls the core work done by an outside organization, with possible expansion of the joint employment doctrine. That is, both Wage-Hour and the National Labor Relations Board seem to be expanding the situations in which a joint employer finding will occur when two entities directly or indirectly have the power to determine the essential terms and conditions of employment of certain workers.
Where Experience Counts