In September 2013, President Obama nominated David Weil to lead the country’s Wage and Hour Division, a branch within U.S. Department of Labor. Weil’s nomination was confirmed December 10, 2013 by the United States Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions. His nomination will come to a vote on the Senate floor at a date yet to be determined.
Here are some points to consider about Mr. Weil’s new job should he be confirmed:
What aspects of the Department of Labor does the Wage and Hour Administrator oversee?
- Enforcing the rules regarding minimum wage overtime pay and record-keeping standards set by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938.
- Setting wage guidelines based on what the Department of Labor considers “work” to be. Exempt employees earning overtime is one example of an interpretation made by the Obama administration of the FLSA.
David Weil, an economics professor at Boston University and staff researcher at Harvard would be the first to hold this position during the Obama administration. The position has been vacant since Paul DeCamp held the position during George W. Bush’s second term. Among other accolades Weil has been an advisor to the Wage and Hour Division, the department he is slated to run. Other nominees for the position (both in 2009 and again in 2011) withdrew due to political opposition.
Weil is known in his field as an ardent supporter of progressive workplace policies. His latest book, The Fissured Workplace, details how large companies have shifted their focus from the employer-worker relationship to delivering value to investors. President Obama, who is currently building steam to increase the federal minimum wage, was likely drawn to Weil for his ability to influence economic growth by policy changes that target wage and employee rights.