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Trump Announces Alexander Acosta as Labor Secretary Nominee After Andrew Puzder Withdraws

At a press conference, President Trump announced Alexander Acosta as the new nominee for labor secretary. Acosta is currently the dean of the Florida International School of Law and previously served as a member of the National Labor Relations Board and later assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division through appointments by President George W. Bush. If confirmed, he will be the first Hispanic member of Trump’s cabinet.

Yesterday, just one day prior to his Senate confirmation hearing, Andrew Puzder withdrew as President Trump’s choice for labor secretary.

Puzder is the CEO of the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast food chains and faced opposition from Democrats who cited employees’ allegations of labor law violations at his company’s restaurants and franchise locations, past allegations of domestic abuse from a prior marriage and his hiring of an undocumented worker. Senate Republicans also had problems with his hiring of an undocumented worker and his prior positions on immigration reform, which were in direct opposition to President Trump’s views on immigration.

In a statement, Pudzer said “After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I am withdrawing my nomination for secretary of labor. I am honored to have been considered by President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Labor and put America’s workers and businesses back on a path to sustainable prosperity.” He also added:  “While I won’t be serving in the administration, I fully support the president and his highly qualified team.”

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About this Author

Mark Kittaka, Labor and Employment Attorney, Barnes Thornburg, Law Firm
Partner

Mark S. Kittaka is a partner and the administrator of the Labor and Employment Law Department of Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Fort Wayne, Indiana office. Mr. Kittaka’s practice covers all areas of labor and employment law including federal and state litigation concerning discriminatory practices and retaliation claims, including, but not limited to: Title VII race, sex, color, and religious discrimination claims; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (disability discrimination, reasonable accommodation, interactive process); Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA); the Family and...

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