President Nominates Former Wage and Hour Administrator to Resume Role

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U.S. Department of Labor headquarters

President Joe Biden will nominate David Weil to lead the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division, according to a recent White House announcement.

Weil was the Wage and Hour Administrator from 2014 to 2017 during the Obama administration, and he currently serves as dean and professor of Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

"Weil is an internationally recognized expert in employment and labor market policy along with regulation, transparency policy and the impacts of industry restructuring on employment, work and business performance," the White House said.

We've rounded up resources and articles from SHRM Online and other trusted outlets on the news.

Weil's Background

"Weil has advised government agencies at the state and federal levels as well as international organizations on employment, labor and workplace policies," the White House said. He has a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and master's and doctoral degrees in public policy from Harvard University. He is the co-founder of the Transparency Policy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and has authored more than 125 articles and five books.

During his time with the DOL, Weil authored administrator interpretations on independent-contractor status and joint-employer relationships, which were later withdrawn by the Trump administration. He is expected to focus on these issues again.

(The White House) and (Littler)

Wage and Hour Enforcement

If the Senate approves the nomination, Weil will head the DOL's Wage and Hour Division, which enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage, overtime pay, record-keeping and child-labor requirements. The division also enforces the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Consumer Credit Protection Act's wage garnishment provisions, and wage requirements under certain other federal statutes.

(U.S. Department of Labor)

Focus on Essential Workers

"The pandemic has revealed the continuing challenges facing working people—particularly workers of color—in assuring they receive a fair day's pay and treatment for their work," Weil said in a prepared statement obtained by Bloomberg Law. "Essential workers who helped us all navigate through the pandemic deserve the full protections afforded by our workplace laws, such as payment of minimum wages and overtime and protections against retaliation for the exercise of their rights," he added. "As we emerge from the pandemic, building back better requires compliance with the laws for which the Wage and Hour Division is responsible."

(Bloomberg Law)

Review Independent-Contractor Classifications

Weil has criticized the gig-economy independent-contractor model, and the Biden administration has announced plans to crack down on the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. So employers should audit who they have classified as independent contractors and avoid micromanaging them, legal experts say. Proper classification of workers depends on applying the right test, which may differ under federal and state law.

(SHRM Online) and (Reuters)

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