• Tue. Jan 31st, 2023

International Franchise Association credited with blocking David Weil from Department of Labor post

ByStephanie M. Akbar

Apr 2, 2022

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The IFA criticized Weil’s support for joint employer rules and doubling the minimum wage

President Joe Biden’s nomination of David Weil to take over his former position as head of the Department of Labor’s wage and hour division has failed. Business leaders and Republicans opposed Weil, and Politico cited the International Franchise Association (IFA) as the driving force that ultimately doomed its approval by the Senate. His nomination was Biden’s first to be defeated in the Senate.

The IFA had criticized Weil’s support for joint employer rules that seek to hold companies accountable for the union actions of their franchisees. Other anti-Weil groups included chambers of commerce, the Associated Builders and Contractors, the National Restaurant Association, oil and gas industry groups and the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, according to the report. Politics.

Weil and the pro law

Pressing the Senate, made up of 50 Republicans, 48 ​​Democrats and two independents, the IFA has set its sights on Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and the two Arizona senators, Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly. All three voted against Weil, killing his nomination.

In explaining the IFA’s tactics, association president Matt Haller said his group had worked to enlighten senators about Weil and his history in the role. The franchise industry trade association also pushed back against Biden’s PRO Act, a Labor Democratic overhaul seen as pro-union. The PRO law did not progress through Senate passage, but lobby groups insisted that if Weil were confirmed, he would pass many of its measures and bypass Congress in doing so.

“Basically the pivot we did was, ‘OK, PRO Act is dead,'” Haller told Politico, and said the IFA and other pro-corporate lobbyists pushed the reasoning that “David Weil is the PRO Act personified, and will only seek to enact elements of the PRO Act through his role at the Labor Department if he is ultimately confirmed Haller said that part of the persuasion of the IFA was to present data to lawmakers showing “that franchised jobs actually pay higher wages and provide better benefits than non-franchised jobs and other small non-franchised businesses.”

Weil’s record

Weil, who served as administrator from 2014 to 2017 under President Obama, supported doubling the minimum wage. And he argued for expanding the definition of an employee so that more independent contractors, or gig workers, are legally considered employees.

Currently dean of Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, Weil has publicly criticized the franchise industry for avoiding accountability, The hill reported. He also singled out Uber and Lyft, two prominent gig companies, as unfairly treating their workers.

The White House expressed disappointment at the loss. “David Weil is a qualified candidate for the Department of Labor,” a White House spokesperson told BloombergLaw.com, “and we’re disappointed he didn’t get the votes on the Senate floor yesterday. evening. Confirming his appointment would be good for workers.The source added that the White House remains “proud of the administration’s pro-worker policies and the work it’s done.”

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