Economic Policy Institute • Lawrence Mishel
The Secretary of Labor should serve as an advocate for working people, enforcing rules that protect workers and crafting new regulations to make sure everyone gets a fair shake on the job. He or she needs to be a voice for workers in the development of all administration policies. As a low-wage employer, Andrew Puzder has vocally opposed the Affordable Care Act, raising the minimum wage, and President Obama’s overtime rule—three policies that are central to an agenda of raising wages and combatting inequality. While it’s too soon to say what Puzder would do as Labor Secretary—if he is confirmed—there is nothing in his record or his public statements to indicate that he would lead in developing policies and enforcement strategies to generate higher wages and better quality jobs for America’s workers. Donald Trump ran a campaign that was long on rhetoric about helping working people. But will his actual policies enrich business at the expense of workers? Will his administration protect workers and keep them safe on the job? Will he allow people to get paid fairly when they work overtime? All of this is at stake now.