President-elect Donald Trump has picked Andrew Puzder, the head of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast food restaurants, as his nominee for Labor secretary, a source familiar with the decision tells News Channels.
Andrew Puzder, 66, is a vocal critic of government regulation and opposes a $15 minimum wage, broader overtime pay and the Affordable Care Act.
The Labor Department oversees America’s job market, regulates the workplace, and produces statistics like the unemployment rate that underpin economic policy.
Andrew Puzder has been the CEO of CKE Restaurants since 2000. He’s credited with turning around the Hardee’s brand, but his company has been accused of labor violations and fielded complaints about sexist commercials.
His appointment, which would require Senate confirmation, comes at a time when restaurants and other low-wage industries are feeling pressure to increase pay. Puzder would likely resist those pressures as Labor secretary.
What a fast food CEO as Labor Secretary means for the Fight for $15
The fast food industry in particular has been the target of nationwide protests pushing for a $15 minimum wage, up from the current $7.25.In a Wall Street Journal op-ed in March, Puzder said a $15 minimum wage, mandatory paid sick leave laws and the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, raise costs for employers and force them to rely more on automated technology.”While the technology is becoming much cheaper, government mandates have been making labor much more expensive,” he wrote.
Andrew Puzder to told News in March that he’s not opposed to raising the federal minimum wage above $7.25 or pegging it to inflation, though he said a jump to $15 an hour will cost workers their jobs.Puzder has also been one of the harshest critics of an Obama administration rule that would require workers who make less than $47,500 and work 40 hours per week be paid overtime.
The rule was put on hold by a federal judge in November.”The real world is far different than the Labor Department’s Excel spreadsheet,” Puzder wrote in a Forbes guest column in May. “This new rule will simply add to the extensive regulatory maze the Obama Administration has imposed on employers, forcing many to offset increased labor expense by cutting costs elsewhere.”