The Century Foundation • Michael McCormack & Simon Glenn-Gregg

Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc., is President-elect Trump’s pick for secretary of labor. Concerns over his statements on automation, workers and the minimum wage have dominated many reports on his potential nomination. Others have pointed out the violations his restaurants and franchisees have accrued during his tenure as CEO. Violations of employment and safety regulations by CKE Restaurants have not yet been compiled in a comprehensive and visual way.

Our work here with data from the Wage and Hour Division and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, both operating under the Department of Labor, combines the two datasets in order to demonstrate the scope of CKE Restaurants and its franchisees’ labor violations.

In the map below we have compiled CKE Restaurants and its franchisees’ Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations since 2000, when Puzder took over as CEO of CKE Restaurants, and Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigations since 2004 (the earliest publicly available data). The map shows 166 investigations, eighty-seven (52 percent) of which yielded at least one violation. Of the seventy-two total OSHA inspections, thirty-seven (51 percent) of these inspections found ninety-one violations and 576 employees affected by violations.

All ninety-four WHD investigations since 2004 are included, fifty of which had a total of 1,082 violations, affecting 987 employees. WHD violations resulted in $145,310 in back wages paid to 877 employees from 2004–2016. Civil penalties for WHD violations amounted to $81,597, while OSHA penalties totaled $74,780, for a total of $156,377 in civil penalties affected between the two regulatory groups. According to the data, 1,563 workers were exposed to WHD or OSHA violations.


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