Secretary of Labor nominee Andy Puzder withdrew his nomination on February 15. Neither his statement nor his Twitter posts gave any reason for the withdrawal, but it was known that his nomination was in trouble with several Republican senators. The criticism against him ranged from the expected — his record running two fast food chains and his opposition to minimum wage hikes — to the unexpected — an undocumented housekeeper and old allegations of domestic abuse by an ex-wife.
So who will step into his place? In the past, President Trump has expressed interest in private practice labor attorney Peter Kirsanow. Kirsanow is a former member of the NLRB and a current member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s name was also bandied about as a possible choice before Puzder. Walker became notorious in labor circles when he proposed and then enacted a law stripping most Wisconsin public workers of their collective bargaining rights. The waiting game will now begin for the next nominee.
So what does this mean for employers? Since the election, the DOL has taken some things off the front (or maybe any) burner. Employers need to comply with the laws on the books and the regulations that are currently in place and stay tuned to see what happens.