Today, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held itsnomination hearing for David Weil to be the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division for the Department of Labor and Gwynne Wilcox and David Prouty to be Members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Excerpt of Ranking Member Richard Burr’s Prepared Opening Statement:
“Thank you, Chair Murray for scheduling this nominations hearing.
“This is proof that there is bipartisanship in Washington because Senator Murray and I both agree that workers should not be cheated. Where we disagree is on how we look at the workforce and employers, and whether nominees should be held accountable for what they’ve said and what they’ve done.
“Before I joined Congress I worked for a living.
“I was a salesman early on and then I managed a sales group. It was a good business. We had a lot of employees. We served a lot of customers. There were a lot of people who were employed because of what we did.
“When things went well employees got raises and promotions and kept their jobs. When things went poorly we tightened our belts and made adjustments.
“We responded to our customers and we worked hard.
“Not once did any of us think to ask the question: How would someone in Washington want us to run our business?
“For the nearly 800,000 franchise establishments in the U.S., the 30 million small business, and even the over 16,000 thousand big businesses in the country I think they operate the same way.
“Most employers play by the rules. They try to treat their employees well and pay them fairly. They want to provide a safe working environment and keep employees happy so they come back every day.
“Employers accept that there need to be rules to protect workers and protect customers.
“But those rules need to be based on reality not on what academics who have never had a real job think would work.
“Unfortunately, our nominees here today fail to pass that test.
“Instead of nominating individuals who could gain broad bipartisan support, nominees who would seek balance and fairness in their roles, the President has nominated extreme ideologues who will be reliably partisan advocating an extreme agenda.
“It’s not an agenda that will grow our economy or help create jobs.
“It’s an anti-employer agenda aimed at bringing more businesses under the thumb of bureaucrats in Washington.
“David Weil is being recycled from the Obama Administration back to his job at the Wage and Hour Division.
“He received no Republican support the last time he was nominated, and with good reason.
“He engaged in such partisan overreach that courts stepped in to stop his badly constructed overtime rule.
“When the vision he advocated for in his writings – such as hostility to the gig economy – wasn’t rejected by the courts, even voters in liberal states such as California overturned them with voter referendums.
“There is no greater opponent of the gig economy than David Weil.
“The gig economy was a lifeline and source of income for so many communities during the recent pandemic and helps so many even outside of the pandemic for individuals to choose the job they want, the hours they want, and the life they want.
“Democrats used to be supportive of this concept of letting people work where and when they want, Nancy Pelosi even used it as an excuse for passing the Affordable Care Act.
“But now David Weil wants to shut down innovative job opportunities. He wants to march workers back into the factory door and punch a time clock.
“If you want a side-hustle, if you want to be free to choose your hours, if you don’t want the hassle of a 40-hour work week and want to be an independent contractor, look out. David Weil is coming for you.
“And God forbid you want to own a franchise.
“Franchise businesses have been a springboard to business ownership for countless women, minorities, and recent immigrants.
“At least 30 percent are minority owned. At least 35 percent are women owned.
“Franchises have been a springboard for millions. But David Weil wants to shut you down.
“Franchises exist in the restaurant industry, the child care sector, the hospital industry and more. But David Weil doesn’t like it. Because he wrote a paper on it. So he’s coming after you, too.
“Which is ironic considering the President’s recent executive order aimed at promoting competition when David Weil’s world view will instead lead to extraordinary consolidation and less competition.
“Millions will suffer as a result of his policies, but that’s ok, because he wrote a paper about it and he knows better than decades of real world experience with franchises around the country.
“David Weil is on the case.
“David Weil believes he knows better than the many minority and women franchise owners in this country who made their own living, who climbed their way up, and who created jobs for others along the way.
“He believes his academic credentials are worth more than their real-world experience. He believes his policy papers are worth more than their hard-earned paycheck.
To read Ranking Member Burr’s full prepared opening remarks, click here.