Like Trump’s immigration ban, opposing Puzder’s nomination was not a political issue, but a right/wrong issue. Had I had the chance to ask Andy Puzder a question during his confirmation hearing, I would have asked the following:
Can you reconcile your potential position as the head of the federal department that regulates the relationship between employers and employees, and your statements about the sexually based advertisements your restaurants ran under your tutelage as CEO, such as, “I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American. I used to hear, brands take on the personality of the CEO. … I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take on my personality.”? How can you assure women that your “personality” will not interfere with their ability to be treated equally in the workplace, and be paid the same wage for the same work as their male counterparts?
According to NBC News, while Democrats staunchly opposed Puzder’s nomination because of his opposition to raising the minimum wage, in addition to his restaurants’ racy ads, it was ultimately Senate Republicans that killed the nomination.
Some conservatives have also taken issue with Puzder’s immigration stance, saying it is at odds with Trump. His family also employed an undocumented worker as a housekeeper, though Puzder said he was unaware she was in the country illegally.
Personal issues also complicated the restaurant executives nomination. Puzder went through a messy divorce and his ex-wife made allegations of domestic abuse that were later recanted.
As I’ve said previously, someone who espouses Puzder’s view of women has no business directing our nation’s labor policy. While I agree with his view on other labor issues, such as minimum wage, overtime, and joint employment, there must be someone else qualified who lacks Puzder’s sexist baggage. Hopefully President Trump will allow us to discover who that person is.
This post originally appeared on the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog, and was written by Jon Hyman, Partner, Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis. Jon can be reached at via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, via telephone at 216-831-0042, on LinkedIn, and on Twitter.