After multiple delays, the confirmation hearing for
President Trump’s Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary nominee, Andrew Puzder, was expected to kick off tomorrow, February 16, before the U.S. Senate. Instead, late-breaking news has emerged that Puzder is no longer the president's pick.
Puzder is not exactly an unknown figure in Washington, thanks
to his role as chief executive of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of the Hardee's
and Carl's Jr. fast food franchises, a job he has held since September 2000. Adding
to insight gleaned from his previous lobbying activities, scores of old
interviews and even op-ed pieces penned by Puzder himself have surfaced since President
Trump gave him the nod for Labor Secretary, clearly spelling out his
rhetorical stances on issues ranging from the minimum wage to sexism and
harassment in the workplace.
Well-known or not, the Trump administration has apparently decided months after first nominating him that Puzder is not actually fit to hold a top role in federal government. The retirement industry will
be closely following the news and eager to get a glimpse of whoever might take Puzder's place—what the new nominee's priorities and leadership style might be when it
comes to federally regulated employee benefits.
Preliminary commentary shared with PLANADVISER had suggested
there was little reason to think Puzder would back away from his free-market
philosophy during confirmation hearings. Whether asked about wage fairness issues, discrimination
in the workplace, the role of union labor, automation, outsourcing or any of the
other challenges facing U.S. workers, Puzder was expected to espouse fairly
traditional Republican values. It remains to be seen what will be the character of Puzder's replacement.
NEXT: What went wrong for Puzder?