The Senate confirmed business school professor, David Weil, as the head of the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division on Monday, April 28, 2014 in a 51-42 Senate vote. Some regard the appointment as long overdue as President Barack Obama’s first two nominees did not make it through the process. David Weil is a professor for Boston University’s School of Management. He also serves as a co-director for Harvard Kennedy School’s Transparency Policy Project.
While David Weil was President Barack Obama’s third nomination for head of the Wage and Hour Division, he was the first to make it through the process and become the Senate-approved administrator. As such, David Weil will be responsible for enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act as well as other laws. Lorelie Boylan, President Obama’s first nominee withdrew her name as a result of Republican opposition. The White House pulled the second nominee, Leon Rodriguez, from consideration.
At a Senate HELP Committee on December 10, 2013, Weil stated that one of his priorities would be to make sure that employers skirting or disregarding the law don’t gain an unfair advantage over their competition. Mr. Weil intends to expand the legal liability of companies who employ subcontractors. The issue of liability of holding companies for their franchisees’ wage and hour violations has also been discussed. It can be argued that holding companies (like 7-11 and Subway) that have thousands of franchises to which they dictate the smallest details of day to day functionality (use of certain ingredients, particular menus, employee dress code/uniforms, etc.) should be held more accountable (and liable) for violations due to their intense involvement in day to day franchise activities and policies.
For more information on how David Weil’s priorities as the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division Head could affect the workplace, get in touch with the experts at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik today.