New DOL COVID-19 FAQs Address Key FLSA Issues

July 24, 2020

The Department of Labor has posted additional guidance that gives employers greater compliance clarity during the COVID-19 pandemic regarding when exempt employees may perform nonexempt duties without losing the overtime exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The seven new FAQs (13 to 19) let employers know that under the FLSA during the pandemic:

  • Exempt executive, administrative, or professional employees may temporarily perform nonexempt duties that are required by the emergency without losing their exemption as long as they continue to be paid on a salary basis of least $684 per week;

  • Employers that provide flexibility for remote employees to take time during the workday for child care or other nonwork tasks only need to pay them for the time they actually spend working;

  • Employers must compensate employees for unreported hours of telework that the employer knew about or had reason to believe was performed; and

  • Time on furlough isn't time on leave, so an employee who used four weeks of leave before being furloughed for several more weeks will return to work having depleted only four weeks of their leave allotment under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Outlook:  With the numerous uncertainties the coronavirus has created regarding wage and hour and family leave matters, DOL will likely issue additional guidance in the future.