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Obama picks BU professor, Harvard researcher David Weil to lead US Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  September 16, 2013 11:37 AM

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President Obama has nominated Boston University professor and Harvard University researcher David Weil to lead the Wage and Hour Division of the US Department of Labor.

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(David Weil)
David Weil
Weil was one of 29 nominations Obama announced to fill key administration positions. The nominations require US Senate confirmation.

“I am grateful that these talented and dedicated individuals have agreed to take on these important roles and devote their talents to serving the American people,” the President said in a statement. “I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years.”

If confirmed, Weil would take a leave of absence from his BU faculty position, said university spokesman Richard Taffe.

As administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, Weil would oversee employees across the country who are charged with enforcing labor-standard and worker-protection laws, including minimum wage, overtime pay and child labor protection laws.

The position has been vacant during Obama’s entire presidency. He has nominated two others since taking the Oval Office. In 2009, the first nominee withdrew herself from contention amid opposition from Republicans. In 2011, Obama withdrew his second pick for the job, also due to Republican opposition.

During the vacancy, the duties of administrator have been covered by the division’s deputy administrator.

Weil, an expert in labor market policy and industrial and labor relations policy, has advised the Wage and Hour Division as well as other government agencies and workplace agencies in other countries.

A management school professor of markets, public policy, and law and an Everett W. Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar, he has taught at BU since 1992 and has won several distinguished awards for teaching and research, according to the university.

Since 2002, he has researched for and co-directed the Transparency Policy Project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has also been a research fellow at Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program since 1987, BU officials said.

The author of five books, Weil earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University; a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School, and a doctorate in public policy from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at mjrochele@gmail.com. Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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