“Andrew Puzder is an appalling choice to serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor – a stunning and unwelcome departure from the dedicated and powerful champions who have held that post in recent years, and who have helped advance policies like fair pay, paid sick days and paid family and medical leave that are critical to the well-being of workers and families, businesses and our economy. The expected Puzder nomination betrays America’s workers, especially women and people of color whose rights he has worked to erode.
As the CEO of CKE Restaurants – parent company of Carl’s Jr. and other fast food restaurants – Puzder has been a strident opponent of the overtime rule, which would stop an egregious form of worker abuse by finally ending the days when people who work long hours for poverty wages do not receive overtime pay. He opposes federal increases to the minimum wage and has harshly criticized the Affordable Care Act – the greatest advance for women’s health in a generation. As a Missouri lawyer, Puzder was an architect of legislation to dismantle Roe v. Wade and deny women access to abortion care. And as a fast food industry executive, Puzder has said machines replacing workers could be a solution to rising wages, and he opposes a host of essential and long overdue advances that would make our country’s workplaces more fair and family friendly, such as paid sick days and paid leave.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s mission is to ‘foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.’ Andrew Puzder could not be more poorly suited to carry out that mission.
The incoming Trump administration must demonstrate that it recognizes that sound economic policy ensures that discrimination has no place in our workplaces, that all jobs pay a living wage, and that we can all meet the dual demands of job and family. We urge the Senate to closely examine Puzder’s views and refuse to confirm him unless he demonstrates clearly that he will advance that vitally important agenda. We must not allow a corporate executive with an anti-worker record to lead our federal Department of Labor.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.