Who is Andrew Puzder?
President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Andrew Puzder to lead the United States Department of Labor. What does this mean for employees and employers?
Puzder has opposed increasing the minimum wage (the current federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour). Puzder has maintained that a higher minimum wage would actually increase unemployment because certain businesses are unable to pay higher wages and would go out of business. He also has opposed extending overtime pay and the Affordable Care Act.
Puzder has praised the use of automation in the fast-food industry. In an interview with Business Insider in 2016, he stated that unlike humans, technology (think robots) are “always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex or race discrimination case.” In 2010, he co-authored a book called “Job Creation: How It Really Works and Why Government Doesn’t Understand It.”
He is an advocate of extensive and comprehensive immigration reform. Pudzer has applauded the work ethic of immigrants and is quoted as stating that “[i]If we had immigration reform and were able to hire these people who want to work, we’d have a more diverse, incentivized and productive workforce.”
While Pudzer’s previous comments may be indicative of the type of Labor Secretary he will be, it is important to note that states are permitted to craft their own legislation regarding minimum wage, safety and anti-discrimination. Indeed, many states (including New Jersey) have done so.