Andy Puzder withdrew his nomination for Labor Secretary. So what’s Plan B at the DOL?


Amidst controversy, controversy and more controversy, Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns, operates and fast-food restaurant franchises Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, withdrew his nomination as Secretary of Labor, yesterday.

And, just like that, we’re back to square one. 

So, who will lead the Department of Labor?

Well, let’s go through what was reported as the original Trump wish list for the Secretary of Labor:

  1. Andy Puzder
  2. Victoria Lipnic
  3. Scott Walker

After President Trumpo tapped Mr. Puzder to be his Secretary of Labor, but before Mr. Puzder withdrew his nomination, President Trump named Ms. Lipnic as Acting Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Could there be some musical chairs here? Maybe. But, let’s assume, for now, that she’s locked in at EEOC.

What about Scott Walker? Well, he’s still running the show in Wisconsin. Plus, there’s a rumor that he’s not interested in the DOL gig.

And, as far as I know, I’m not on President Trump’s short list.

So, that must leave someone else. Here are a few possibilities. (I’d like to see Peter Kirsanow — if nothing more than to see SNL’s portrayal #thatmoustachetho)

What path will the Department of Labor forge?

For those of you holding out hope for $15/hr minimum wage, revitalization of those dang-old overtime rules, and other employee-friendly measures…C’mon, man! C’mon, man!

I’ve gotta believe that whomever the new Labor Secretary may be, you’ll see a more conservative, business-friendly approach to FLSA, FMLA, and other matters under the DOL umbrella. Beyond that, I don’t know.

But, should more progressive states and localities foresee a paradigm shift away from the Tom Perez DOL, you may see more employee-friendly wage-and-hour and family-leave rules popping up in your area — just not around the entire country. So, keep your eyes and ears open for that.

Now, rather than speculate further, I’m going to nuke a hot toddy corn dog, watch TV and stop typing.

We can pick up with this when there’s more DOL-related news to report.

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