Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC office, was quoted in Law360 Employment Authority, in “DOL Wage Chief Delay Raises Questions,” by Max Kutner. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

As President Joe Biden's pick to lead the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division awaits confirmation, attorneys and veterans of the role wonder about the fate of the nomination and what the lack of a Senate-confirmed leader means for enforcement.

The selection of David Weil to return to the role he held under President Barack Obama has appeared frozen for about 10 weeks after a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions vote to advance the nomination resulted in a tie. The Senate has two months left in its session to act on the nomination before it would have to return to Biden.

Such holdups aren't necessarily unusual, but they can indicate the level of opposition the pick is facing, especially for a role that is historically hard to fill, past WHD administrators said.

"It's common at the start of a new administration for many nominations to move forward in a relatively uncontroversial way and for a handful of nominations to run into a fair amount of headwinds," said Paul DeCamp of Epstein Becker Green, a WHD administrator under President George W. Bush. "Dr. Weil's nomination seems to be one of those nominations where the opposition may be gaining some traction."

Few Confirmed Administrators

There have been only three Senate-confirmed WHD administrators in the past 20 years, and just seven in the last 40. By comparison, there have been almost twice as many secretaries of labor in that time.

WHD veterans attribute the difficulty in getting people confirmed in the role to opposition from interest groups and the opposing political party.

"In Republican administrations, workers' advocates tend to oppose very strongly anybody who's put forward for the role, and in Democratic administrations, business groups typically oppose very strongly anybody who's put forward," DeCamp said.


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