Salon • Sofia Tesfaye
David Weil, the outgoing administrator of the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, has offered perhaps the strongest warning of any Obama administration official aimed at the incoming Trump administration: Do not roll back protections for workers. Weil oversaw strategic enforcement initiatives that are now in limbo and could be withdrawn by a new administrator.
“What does making America great again mean?” Weil asked, expressing concern that Andy Puzder, the fast food executive President-elect Trump has nominated to be labor secretary, will undermine efforts to crack down on widespread wage violations.
During the 2016 fiscal year alone, the Labor Department found that 10,300 fast-food workers were owed more than $5.4 million in back wages.
Weil’s stricter enforcement has even targeted the company headed by Trump’s pick to lead the Labor Department, Andy Puzder. CKE Restaurants, which owns the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. burger chains, agreed to pay $58,000 in back pay to a group of 456 workers after a wage-and-hour investigation by the agency in 2006 and 2007.