Andrew Puzder’s Nomination to Labor Secretary an Affront to Main Street

The fast-food mogul has railed against economy-boosting policies and business and employee-friendly legislation supported by Main Street members.

Andrew Puzder, of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fame, was selected today to join the President-Elect’s administration as Secretary of Labor. A critic of minimum wage increases and basic job protections, Puzder is already at odds with the will of Main Street small business owners and their employees.

Small business owners in the Main Street Alliance network know that basic workplace protections like access to paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave, and fair wages help grow business owner’s bottom line by increasing employee productivity, reducing turnover, and boosting the labor supply.  Furthermore, these policies help prevent a race to the bottom–supporting high-road businesses who want to offer quality jobs through ensuring the costs are spread evenly.

“The selection of Andrew Puzder to head the Labor Department is a callous disregard for the small businesses on Main Street who look to regulation to level the playing field with large corporations like Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.,” said Amanda Ballantyne, Main Street Alliance National Director. “Small businesses do better when our customers have the ability to spend and our competitors are held to a basic standard of job quality and employee compensation.”

Puzder’s company, CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc., has been found in violation of U.S. labor laws on several occasions, with complaints of wage theft filed in lawsuits on behalf of its employees. The decision to put a repeat violator of labor law atop the Labor department is the latest in a series of conflicts of interest presenting themselves within the Trump administration.

“I reject Mr. Pudzer’s claim that regulation is the enemy of business and insist they are an aid in meeting the needs of our employees. We advocate for policies like paid family leave, paid sick days, and minimum wage hikes so that our employees, customers, and our businesses can do better,” said Todd Mikkelson, the owner of Sprayrack in Orono, Minnesota and a member of the Main Street Alliance National Action Committee.

Under the able leadership of Secretary Perez, the Administration made meaningful strides towards creating a business climate and economy that worked for everyone. Main Street Alliance and its member businesses are deeply concerned that those gains achieved during the Perez era will be walked back under Puzder’s leadership.