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Free ASA Webinar Tomorrow—Using Noncompete and Nonsolicitation Agreements

Don’t miss tomorrow’s ASA webinar “Guardians at the Gate: How to Use Restrictive Covenants to Protect Your Assets,” 3–4 p.m. Eastern time. Find out what your firm needs to know about using restrictive covenants—noncompete or nonsolicitation agreements—to retain employees. Sponsored by Essential StaffCARE.

All ASA webinars are free for ASA members, and most qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. To learn more and to register, visit

Participate in the ASA Quarterly Staffing Employment and Sales Survey

The association’s quarterly Staffing Employment and Sales Survey for the fourth quarter of 2020 is now open. Staffing companies that complete the brief survey—including search and placement firms—will have access to an exclusive report on the results, enhanced with graphs. The report, which participants can download from the ASA website, also includes an executive summary, plus sales category and sector-level data.

The data collected by this survey enable ASA to track staffing sales and gross margin trends and provide direct hire metrics. Participate in the Staffing Employment and Sales Survey by Feb. 19 to get the staffing industry information you’re looking for.

Register to take the survey, or view the questionnaire, at If you have questions or did not receive a survey link, email There are no fees to participate.

DOL: Retail or Service Establishment Overtime Exemption Can Apply to Staffing Firms

At the American Staffing Association’s request, on Jan. 19 the U.S. Department of Labor issued opinion letter FLSA2021-6, affirming that the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “retail or service establishment” overtime exemption can apply to staffing firms. This opinion represents a major win for the industry, and a departure from the agency’s prior position that staffing firms categorically could not qualify for the exemption under any circumstance. ASA submitted the request in 2019 and argued that the agency’s denial of the exemption’s applicability to staffing contravened recent caselaw.

Section 7(i) of the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 207(i), provides an overtime exemption for employees of a “retail or service establishment” who are paid in excess of 1.5 times the minimum wage, and receive more than half of their compensation, for a representative period, in commissions on goods or services. To qualify as a “retail or service establishment,” an employer must: (a) engage in the making of sales of goods or services; (b) have 75% of its sales of goods or services, or both, recognized as retail sales in the particular industry; and (c) not have more than 25% of its sales of goods or services, or both, result from sales for resale.

DOL opined that because staffing firms provide temporary staffing and permanent recruitment services, they satisfy the sales of goods and services requirement, and the fact that sales are made to commercial entities does not change this conclusion. DOL further stated that staffing firms satisfy the second prong of the legal test because they have a “retail concept” and that, so long as resale services constitute 25% or less of a firm’s total sales, the third legal requirement likely would be met.

Qualification as a retail or service establishment does not necessarily mean that individual employees will be exempt under the section 7(i) exemption—staffing firms should consult with their legal counsel with respect to their particular circumstances.