The Senate has confirmed Principal Deputy Administrator Jessica Looman as the head of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) by a 51-46 vote.
The WHD enforces the federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as other employment standards and worker protections under other statutes.
Since January 20, 2021, Looman had been serving as the Principal Agency Administrator, a role designated to permit her to lead the WHD while her nomination was pending without triggering litigation. An effort late last year to have Looman confirmed through unanimous consent was unsuccessful.
Previously, Looman served in various capacities in her home state of Minnesota, including as executive director of the state Building and Construction Trades Council, commissioner of the state’s Commerce Department, and deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.
This is a key time for the WHD. The Department of Labor proposed new regulations in August that would substantially increase the number of workers who would be eligible for overtime compensation. The key provision of the rulemaking would provide overtime pay to salaried employees earning less than $55,068 annually. If the proposal is finalized, millions more salaried workers could be eligible for overtime compensation. More than 100 business groups have asked Looman to extend the comment period for the new overtime regulations given the significant impact of the proposed rulemaking.
Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney with any questions about the proposed rule or other wage and hour developments.
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