Last week, President Biden’s nomination for the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division failed to pass the Senate. David Weil, who was the Wage and Hour Division head under President Obama had been nominated some months ago by President Biden.
The nomination made it out of committee when one Republican Senator was not able to make the meeting when his nomination came up and it was moved to the full Senate by one vote. The vote on March 30, failed by 3 votes 53-47 with Democratic Senators Manchin, Sinema, and Kelley voting against.
Under President Obama there were a couple of notable “accomplishments” that we know would have (probably are) on Wage and Hour’s agenda. One of the most widely impactful was the nearly doubling of the minimum salary for certain employees to qualify as exempt from overtime. The white-collar exemptions minimum was increased under President Trump but only a portion of what the Obama Administration and Mr. Weil had wanted. The Obama increase was stopped by a Federal court in Texas. Mr. Weil also put out, what many considered overreach by the department in the form of a guidance memo on who and who was not an independent contractor. That was rescinded when President Trump was elected.
So…the Wage and Hour Division still doesn’t have a division head. We will wait and see what is next but there’s a certain amount of “Devil you know vs. Devil you don’t know” in the air. We pretty much knew what we were going to get with Mr. Weil and we have no idea about the next nominee. For now the various divisions are doing their own thing but we will see where that heads. Status quo with the exception of the Division receiving a fair amount of additional funds in the budget to hire more inspectors.
More to come I’m Sure.