SMG Prof Nominated for Department of Labor Position

September 16th, 2013

David Weil, a BU expert in labor market policy and industrial and labor relations policy, has been chosen by President Obama to lead the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. The nomination, which requires confirmation by the US Senate, was one of 29 made in a September 10 announcement by the president, who says he is “grateful that the talented and dedicated individuals have agreed to take on these important roles and devote their talents to serving the American people.”

Weil, a School of Management professor of markets, public policy, and law and an Everett W. Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar, has advised government agencies, including the Wage and Hour Division and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as workplace agencies in other countries. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Labor, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Kenneth Freeman, SMG’s Allen Questrom Professor and Dean, says Weil is a valued member of the SMG community, whose “commitment to groundbreaking research and outstanding teaching is exemplary.”

If confirmed, Weil would oversee a division that ensures American workers are adequately compensated for the work they have done by being paid the minimum wage and required overtime compensation. It also protects responsible employers from competition with companies that do not comply with federal wage and hour requirements by enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act, which also regulates child labor. The agency also oversees the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration-related statutes.

Since arriving at BU in 1992, Weil has won SMG’s Broderick Prize in Research and Broderick Prize for Teaching and the Shingo Prize for Research on Manufacturing Innovations, and he was chosen as SMG’s Best MBA Instructor of the Year in 2011 and 2012. He has been the codirector and a senior research fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Transparency Policy Project since 2002 and a research fellow at Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program since 1987.

Weil has written five books, among them Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency, A Stitch in Time: Lean Retailing and the Transformation of Manufacturing—Lessons from the Apparel and Textile Industries, and the soon-to-be published The Fissured Workplace: Why Work Became So Bad for So Many and What Can Be Done to Improve It (Harvard University Press).

He earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.