January 11, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – The head of the Labor Department’s wage and hour division is worried that the Trump administration will look the other way at employers who violate minimum-wage and overtime laws.
“I would hope, I would expect as a base, that any incoming secretary of labor understands there are certain principles about what this department does that are really sacrosanct—the notion of fairness embedded in our agency, paying people for the work they do, is something we support,” David Weil told Bloomberg BNA, referring to fast-food executive Andrew Puzder, Donald Trump’s nominee to head the department. Puzder is a strong opponent of raising the minimum wage, and the Labor Department has ordered the fast-food chain he heads and some of its franchises to give workers back pay several times over the last decade. Although the Labor Department collected back wages for 283,000 workers in the last fiscal year, Weil said, “We have a long way to go to fix wage theft. This is a pervasive problem in the economy.” The department has only 1,000 wage and hour investigators, fewer than it had in the 1970s. Read more