President Trump taps Alexander Acosta as his new pick for Labor Secretary

Alexander Acosta.jpgAcosta replaces Andy Puzder, who withdrew his nomination on Wednesday.

So, who is Alexander Acosta?

Reporting here at The Washington Post, Jonnelle Marte has the details:

Acosta served as an assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil rights division under President George W. Bush and is a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida. He also previously served on the National Labor Relations Board and is now the dean of the law school at Florida International University. Acosta also served as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., when he was a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Acosta earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and received a law degree from Harvard Law School. He previously worked at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis and taught at the George Mason University Law School.

Whereas, I may be “blog” smart, this Acosta is “smart” smart. Even organized labor says he deserves a fair shake:

“Unlike Andy Puzder, Alexander Acosta’s nomination deserves serious consideration,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “In one day, we’ve gone from a fast-food CEO who routinely violates labor law to a public servant with experience enforcing it.”

It’s not Mr. Acosta’s first rodeo. The Senate previously confirmed him three times:

  1. as a member of the National Labor Relations Board member,
  2. as an assistant attorney general
  3. as a US attorney in south Florida.

Mark Moore and Daniel Halper report here at the New York Post notes that Acosta, a Cuban American, would be President Trump’s first Hispanic Cabinet member.

How will Acosta shape the Department of Labor?

He’s a conservative, for sure. And, generally, what you see from the DOL with a GOP president is more advice and guidancefor employers (as opposed employee outreach with sites like worker.gov, “a site dedicated to the needs of workers.”).

Over at Bloomberg Law, Chris Opfer reports here about how Acosta “has a history of fighting for religious freedom, but it’s not clear how that will play into the ongoing debate over protections for LGBT workers.”

But, what we do know is that one of the first items on Acosta’s agenda, if confirmed, has to be those overtime rules.

I still think the odds of them getting finalized are slim and none. But, might we see a “lite” version? We’ll see…

Image Credit: By U.S. Department of Justice – https://law.fiu.edu/faculty/directory/acosta/, Public Domain, Link

 

 

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