President-elect Donald J. Trump on Thursday named Andrew F. Puzder, chief executive of the company that operates the fast food outlets Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. to be the DOL’s new secretary of labor.
As widely reported by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other major media outlets, Mr. Puzder is a critic of the Affordable Care Act, has argued against raising the federal minimum wage, and is against the variety of executive orders that the Obama Administration passed, including the Overtime Pay Rule that is currently under appeal.
Additionally, and relating directly to employers’ pockets – it is unlikely that employers will see a hike in the federal minimum wage in this administration, and it is likely that, if confirmed, Mr. Puzder will not fight to enforce the Obama administration’s new Fair Labor Standards Act exemption rule, which was supposed to go into effect December 1, 2016, and would have raised the minimum salary threshold to be considered an exempt employee. In general, it appears, Mr. Puzder’s appointment could result in a more flexible approach to the federal laws and regulations than employers experienced under the current administration. This flexible approach could ultimately lead to fewer lawsuits and fines directed at employers who are attempting in good faith to follow the rules and regulations.