A New Era for

Both as an academic researcher and as President Obama’s head of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, the agency responsible for enforcing our nation’s most basic labor standards, I have watched this story of what I call the “fissured workplace” unfold. In geology, a fissure in a once solid rock both deepens and spreads. Once an activity like janitorial services or housekeeping is shed, the secondary businesses doing that work deepen the fissures even further, often shifting those activities to still other businesses. The farther down in the fissure one goes, the slimmer the profit margins and the greater the incentives to cut corners. At my former agency, we saw this fissuring result in the failure to pay janitors, cable installers, carpenters, housekeepers, home care workers, or distribution workers the basic wages and overtime they had earned—losses typically equivalent to losing 3-4 weeks of earnings.  MORE

David Weil is the Peter and Deborah Wexler Professor of Management at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. He was the US Wage and Hour Administrator at the Department of Labor for the last three years of the Obama administration. He is a leading international expert on workplace and labor market policy and was a professor of economics and management at Boston University School of Management before taking office. The insights contained in The Fissured Workplace deliver a bold perspective on the fundamental restructuring of employment and its impacts on workers and businesses, and were the basis of much of the work Weil did at the agency.


“David Weil heading to Brandeis,” Talking Points column, The Boston Globe, 5.19.17. Read the article.

“The increasing importance of a Labor Department that understands the threats to workers in the current economy,” By Jared Bernstein, Washington Post. 2.20.17. Read the article

“Shaky Jobs, Sluggish Wages: Reasons Are at Home,” 
by Eduardo Porter, New York Times. 2.28.17. Read the article.

“The Future of the Department of Labor Under Trump,” by Alana Semuels, 
The Atlantic. 3.6.17. Read the article. 


“How to Make Employment Fair in an Age of Contracting and Temp Work,” by David Weil. Harvard Business Review. 3.3.17. Read the article.

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