David Weil Nominated to Head DOL’s Wage and Hour Division

President Obama has announced his choice to serve as Administrator of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD).  The position has remained vacant for a number of years. The WHD is the DOL sub-agency that will implement many key regulatory and policy proposals in the coming year, including the imminent final companionship exemption rule that will apply the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to domestic service workers, and various worker misclassification initiatives.

Dr. Weil currently works as a professor of markets, public policy, and law at the Boston University School of Management, where he has worked since 1992.  Notably, Weil was the principal investigator on a report for the DOL: Improving Workplace Conditions through Strategic Enforcement: Report to the Wage and Hour Division Strategic Enforcement. The Report provides insight on Weil’s priorities as well as his approach to enforcement. According to his report, “Problems facing particularly vulnerable workers are concentrated in a subset of sectors that require focused attention by the WHD.”  Thus, the focus on so-called “fissured industries” would certainly continue under his tenure. Likewise, the WHD will continue to focus on enhancing investigation capabilities and using all the tools in their enforcement arsenal. The Report cites penalty policy as a central part of deterrence.  

Weil has also written a number of other books, journal articles, and miscellaneous publications discussing the labor and employment arena. His publications include the following:


  • The Fissured Workplace: Why Work Became So Bad for So Many and What Can Be Done to Improve It
  • Turning the Tide: Strategic Planning for Labor Unions

Book Chapters:

  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of National Labor Relations Act Remedies: Analysis and Comparison with Other Workplace Penalty Policies
  • The Role of Unions and Collective Bargaining in Preventing Work-Related Disability
  • Individual Rights and Collective Agents: The Role of New Workplace Institutions in the Regulation of Labor Markets
  • Analyzing Regulatory Performance: Insights on the Implementation of Federal Workplace Policy

Journal Articles:

  • Broken Windows, Vulnerable Workers, and the Future of Worker Representation
  • Enforcing Labor Standards in Fissured Workplaces: The US Experience
  • Enforcing OSHA: The Role of Labor Unions

The nomination of Dr. Weil is a clear signal that the WHD’s aggressive enforcement of wage and hour laws will continue, if not accelerate. 

Additional information about Dr. Weil can be found on his faculty bio page.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.