DOL Nominee: Jessica Looman
Nominated to be the Administrator of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division
Nomination announced: July 27, 2022
Jessica Looman is currently the acting head of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, having served in that role since the start of the Biden administration. Looman is the second nominee for the administrator position.
David Weil was previously nominated but a majority of the U.S. Senate rejected him for that position. Weil was a controversial pick from the start, with the Wall Street Journal describing him as “a life-long, left-wing academic with labor-union sympathies, no private-sector experience or legal training, and limited management experience. His most notable paper, commissioned by the Bush-era Wage and Hour Division, targets retail, fast-food services and other industries as enforcement priorities. (These industries are also union targets. Coincidence?)”
Prior to serving in the Biden administration, Looman was Executive Director of the Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council, an AFL-CIO affiliate; General Counsel of the Laborers District Council of Minnesota and North Dakota; and held several positions in the Minnesota State Department of Labor.
Her nomination has been praised by labor organizations, including the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA). LIUNA wrote in a statement, “With her commitment and expertise, there is no one better suited than Jessica Looman to serve as the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the U.S. Department of Labor. LIUNA strongly supports her nomination and urges a speedy confirmation by the U.S. Senate.” The Associated Builders and Contractors trade association, however, is disappointed by the “radical reforms” Looman has pursued for the Davis-Bacon Act and other issues while serving as acting head of Wage and Hour.
Nomination Status: Jessica Looman’s nomination expired at the end of the 117th Congress. Looman was nominated to be the Administrator of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. On November 29, 2022, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee advanced her nomination to the full Senate on a vote of 13-9.
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