BREAKING NEWS: Just yesterday (April 28), the Senate voted 51-42 to approve the nomination of David Weil to be the new Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) at the Department of Labor (DOL).
The Wage and Hour Division, which is responsible for the enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family Medical Leave Act and other workplace regulations, has operating without an Administrator for years. Dr. Weil, who was nominated in September 2013, is a Boston University School of Management professor and Everett V. Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar, Markets, Public Policy and Law.
In 2010, Dr. Weil was the principal investigator on a report prepared for the DOL, Improving Workplace Conditions through Strategic Enforcement: Report to the Wage and Hour Division Strategic Enforcement.
If the recommendations in the report are any indication, under Dr. Weil’s leadership, the WHD will continue its emphasis on deterrence. For instance, the report recommends the DOL “clarify the boundaries of employment responsibility,” create industry-focused deterrence measures, implement a penalty policy, expand litigation, and enhance deterrence through greater transparency efforts.
In addition, the report stated, “Problems facing particularly vulnerable workers are concentrated in a subset of sectors that require focused attention by the WHD.” Sounds to me as though the WHD will continue to target what they’ve characterized as low-wage, low-compliance industries… in other words, what we’ve seen over the past few years only more so.