A: No. Surprisingly, the most common formal opinion issued by the Public Access Counselor is that a public body violates FOIA by ignoring a request (as well as the PAC's request for review!). The most recent formal opinion, Public Access Opinion 18-011, was released September 10, 2018.
A: Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, short employee breaks of less than 20 minutes are generally compensable time. However, a
conflict arises when an employee must legitimately and lawfully take such frequent breaks, each of less than 20 minutes, that it
substantially affects productivity. The Department of Labor recently helped us clarify how to resolve that conflict. In a recent
opinion letter, the DOL noted that FLSA regulations and case law generally find that short rest breaks for employees "promote the
efficiency of an employee" and therefore are compensable because that primarily benefits the employer. On the other hand, breaks
provided pursuant to FMLA are for the primary benefit of the employee. Therefore, the DOL concluded in its Opinion Letter, an
employee's breaks pursuant to FMLA (as intermittent leave) are not compensable breaks under the FLSA, because they are provided for
the primary benefit of the employee only.
No, even home rule municipalities cannot create additional restrictions on public access to information that conflict with FOIA. According to a recent Appellate Court case, while home rule units have the power to expand the duty to disclose records, they lack the authority to exempt from disclosure documents and information for which FOIA mandates disclosure.Close