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Senate Turns Back David Weil as Labor’s Top Wage-Hour Enforcer

March 31, 2022, 1:18 AM

The Senate Wednesday turned back President Joe Biden’s nomination of David Weil as the U.S. Department of Labor’s top wage-hour regulator.

The 47-53 vote on a motion to proceed blocked a final vote on Weil to be the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division administrator.

Weil was Biden’s pick for the role since last June, but his nomination languished for much of last year. He had to be nominated again for the role in January.

It would have Weil’s second time leading the Wage and Hour Division. He’s a dean at Brandeis University. He previously served in the Obama administration from 2014 to 2017.

Weil came under criticism from business groups and Republicans over his scrutiny of gig-economy companies’ labor practices since that time. When Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) March 28 teed up a final vote to confirm Weil, his opponents quickly urged senators to vote against him.

“Dr. Weil’s track record previously serving in this role and his ideological agenda leaves no doubt that his policies would harm the hundreds of thousands of local franchise businesses around the country and the 8.2 million workers they employ,” the International Franchise Association said in a March 29 written statement.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who expressed concerns about Weil’s nomination last year, voted ‘no’ in the procedural vote. Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) also voted ‘no.’

Obama administration Labor Secretary Tom Perez said in an interview that Weil as an administrator wanted to hear from “everyone” when developing rulemakings or contemplating new initiatives. Perez is now the co-chair of American Bridge 21st Century, a progressive group.

Perez said that when he worked with Weil, “he had the humility to know that he didn’t have all of the answers.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Paige Smith in Washington at psmith@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Martha Mueller Neff at mmuellerneff@bloomberglaw.com; Laura D. Francis at lfrancis@bloomberglaw.com