Business Lobby Defeats Biden Labor Nominee in Senate

Business groups celebrated this week after the Senate rejected David Weil, President Biden’s pick to run the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division.

The Senate failed to advance Weil’s nomination by a 47-53 vote on Wednesday night, with Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Mark Kelly (Ariz.) joining all Republicans in blocking Biden’s nominee.

Weil, who previously held the wage division post in the Obama administration from 2014 to 2017, issued rules to reclassify independent contractors as employees and attempted to hold corporations accountable for their franchisees’ labor practices during his previous tenure.

Business groups, including the National Restaurant Association and National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, centered their lobbying efforts around the three moderate Democrats who ultimately sank Weil’s nomination.

They warned that Weil would use his broad powers to bypass Congress and implement sections of the PRO Act, a sweeping pro-labor bill opposed by the business lobby that remains stalled in the Senate due to GOP opposition.

Weil, who is currently dean of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, has long complained that the franchise model allows corporate giants to dodge accountability and is a fierce critic of gig companies such as Uber and Lyft.