Labor issues, specifically job creation, figured prominently when Donald Trump was on the campaign trail. Now that movement on FLSA has been halted, the choice for Secretary of the Department of Labor will step right in and have huge sway. While Trump has not stated his position on the overtime ruling, his picks send a strong signal to the industry and the country about his plans for pro-labor legislation and undoing the ACA.
Here are the potential nominees we are watching; we will update it as other candidates emerge.
Current position: a 2-term commissioner on the EEOC
Notable: Lipnic boasts an extensive legal, labor background and has worked in both public and private sector roles. Lipnic served as assistant labor secretary in the George W. Bush administration. President Barack Obama nominated her as one of two Republican commissioners on the EEOC. Lipnic may not adhere to a strict party line when it comes to favoring big business, but she does not stray far enough to exclude her from consideration. On the issue of employment pay data, Lipnic voted nay, calling it "bad policy." She dissented on two key decisions; regarding sexual orientation as it relates to Title VII and on the commissions' guidelines on pregnancy in 2014. Her record suggests she would bring a more moderate approach to the DOL.
The Pennsylvania native studied at Allegheny College and earned a JD from George Mason University's School of Law.
Current position: Chief Executive Officer, CKE Restaurants, Inc
Notable: Puzder distinguished himself by raising funds for the Trump campaign and being a steadfast cheerleader. He tweeted on Nov. 7: "If Trump wins the WH, he'll be in your corner not on the side of big corporate interests & globalist companies." Puzder's views on the Affordable Care Act and raising the federal minimum wage are in line with the Republican platform. He had some explaining to do when he was recently taken to task for seeming to prefer robots over humans. Puzder helped to launch Common Ground Network and took an ailing fast food chain and made it profitable. His law degree is from Washington University.
Current position: Governor of Wisconsin
Notable: Walker knows a great deal about governing under adversity. When his controversial budget plan called for nearly wiping out collective bargaining for public workers, Walker faced a recall. He survived that. Because of him, Wisconsin is a right-to-work state. Labor forces would be less-enamored with Walker heading the DOL. His political positions by and large mirror the Republican stance on key points. On his plate now is the state's projected shortfall. He has also expressed interest in overseeing the Republican Governors Association. Walker left Marquette without achieving a degree.
Current position: Republican congressman from Pennsylvania
Notable: In Congress, Barletta currently serves as a member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, where he has opposed several of the Obama administration's labor measures, including the DOL's new fiduciary rule and the proposed change to overtime laws under FLSA. Barletta's stance against illegal immigration to seems to mirror Trump's own campaign rhetoric, and his policies would presumably impact those industries who rely on immigrant workers to fill important skill gaps, including the tech sector.