Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Department of Labor nominee update

This week the White House withdrew Andrew Puzder, who was nominated to serve as Secretary of the Department of Labor, and announced a new nominee, Alexander Acosta.

Puzder has a long history of violating protections implemented by the Department of Labor to safeguard America’s workforce. Under his tenure as chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants, the Labor Department repeatedly found the company responsible for violating employment laws, most notably the Fair Labor Standards Act and Occupational Safety and Health Act.

In addition, there were more than 1,000 wage-and-hour violations.

Perhaps most alarmingly, Puzder responded to these blatant violations by stating, “What workers lose in overtime pay they gain in stature and sense of accomplishment.”

CKE Restaurants violated the Occupational and Safety Health Act of 1970 when employees were hospitalized because severe burns; the company faced tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

Rather than address these problems, Puzder attacked the Labor Department’s role in enforcing workplace health and safety regulations.

“NALC expressed concerns over Puzder's nomination," NALC President Fredric Rolando said, "and we are pleased that this nominee has withdrawn himself from the process.
 
“A labor secretary should have clear regard for protecting the health and safety of workers," Rolando said. "We look forward to vetting the record of the new nominee, Alexander Acosta, to ensure that working families will have an advocate in the Department of Labor.”

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