During the course of 4,000 investigations into the 20 largest fast-food brands carried out by the Department of Labor, only 40% of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. stores were in full compliance with the law. In total, these investigations lead to the discovery of more than 68,000 FLSA violations and some $14 million in back wages recovered for about 57,000 employees.
Lining His Own Pockets
Andrew Puzder took home $4,400,000 in 2012, 294 times what a person making the minimum wage earns in a year. As CEO, Puzder grew his fast-food empire by paying low wages and cutting corners, like failing to fairly compensate the people who work for him with overtime pay.
Salon • Sofia Tesfaye
David Weil, the outgoing administrator of the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, has offered perhaps the strongest warning of any Obama administration official aimed at the incoming Trump administration: Do not roll back protections for workers. Weil oversaw strategic enforcement initiatives that are now in limbo and could be withdrawn by a new administrator.
“What does making America great again mean?” Weil asked, expressing concern that Andy Puzder, the fast food executive President-elect Trump has nominated to be labor secretary, will undermine efforts to crack down on widespread wage violations. Continue Reading
Las Vegas Sun • Chris Shelton
Andrew Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, would be a fine choice to head a government agency responsible for looking out for millionaires. Instead, he’s been tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to head the Labor Department, which for more than 100 years has been responsible “for promoting the welfare of wage earners, job seekers and retirees.”
The Labor Department looks out for ordinary working people when it comes to keeping jobs safe and making sure workers aren’t shortchanged or cheated when it comes to their wages. Puzder seems likely to turn all that upside down. According to his public statements, he opposes many of the policies and programs he would be responsible for administering. Continue Reading
The Arizona Republic • M.C. Dornan
The fast-food boss makes more in one day than his employees make in a year. Working people deserve a champion at the Department of Labor and Puzder’s proved time and time again, he’s not on our side.
Has Mr. Puzder ever had to decide between paying the rent or putting food on the table while living on a minimum wage? Maybe he should live that life before he tells us wages won’t go up. I hope our elected officials understand what’s at stake.
Mic • James Dennin
Though reports differ on exactly how much Puzder is worth, they suggest he is at least a millionaire, so his appointment would further balloon the collective net worth of Trump’s Cabinet, which is already the richest in modern history.
Back in 2010, Puzder helped take once-public CKE Restaurants private by selling the company to Apollo Equities, a private equity fund that specializes in helping to turn around troubled businesses.
That has helped shield a lot of the details about Puzder’s compensation from the public eye. In fact, Puzder told the St. Louis Business Journal that the “most positive” aspect of the sale for him was that “we no longer have all the regulatory requirements that come with being a public company.”
Corporate profile pages on Bloomberg and Equilar don’t list any compensation information for Puzder. In 2014, the Huffington Post and Mother Jones reported a 2012 salary figure for Puzder of more than $4 million — via Forbes — but Puzder’s corporate profile on Forbes appears to have since been deleted.
Based on other evidence, outlined below, it seems likely Puzder is at least a millionaire — although possibly not quite as wealthy as some of the other heavy-hitters among Trump’s chosen Cabinet. Education secretary pick Betsy DeVos, for example, has an estimated net worth of more than $5 billion, and commerce secretary pick Wilbur Ross’ net worth is close to $3 billion.