August 3, 2006 – Paul DeCamp, the former Wal-Mart attorney and current Labor Department policy advisor nominated by President Bush to head the Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour division, told a Senate panel this week that he believed many wage and hour violations resulted from an employer’s “good-faith misunderstanding” of the law.
DeCamp represented Wal-Mart in a massive discrimination lawsuit that charged the mega-retailer with systematically denying more than 1.5 million women the same pay and promotions as male employees.
Equally troubling for Democrats on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee was DeCamp’s involvement in the DOL’s Gulf Coast activities and in articles published by DeCamp suggesting most claims for unpaid overtime are spurious.
“Mr. DeCamp has spent his entire legal career defending employers against workers in a wide range of employment matters, including Wal-Mart, in the largest gender discrimination class action in history,” said AFL-CIO Legislative Director Bill Samuel, voicing the federation’s opposition to the nomination. “For all these reasons, we believe he is an entirely inappropriate choice for the position of Wage and Hour Administrator.”
A vote on DeCamp’s nomination is not expected until Senators return from their August recess.