The State of America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis 2022

The longstanding direct support workforce crisis, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to closures of critically needed services and a denial of access to community-based supports.
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Capitol Correspondence - 11.10.20

DOL Issues Opinion Letter on Voluntary Trainings

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To assist our members in their roles as employers, we share a new opinion letter by the Department of Labor (DOL) on a topic related to adhering to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). As explained by DOL: “An opinion letter is an official, written opinion by the Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) on how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by the person or entity that requested the letter.” The letter we are flagging is: 

FLSA2020-15: Addressing the compensability of time that employees spend attending voluntary training programs in certain situations. This letter specifically refers to whether various health staff in non-profit hospice can be made to use vacation / paid time off for voluntary (non-mandated) trainings. We share it because some of the “health staff” mentioned as examples in the letter – “nurses, social workers, home health aides, and providers” – have some functions similar to Direct Support Professionals.

Members interested in finding opinion letters on similar topics can consult the DOL’s opinion letter page.