Labor Secretary Nominee Andrew Puzder: What’s at Stake for Women?
Andrew Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurant Holdings (CKE), which owns several fast-food chains including Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, is President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor. Puzder’s record of opposition to advancing family-friendly workplace policies, would be disastrous for workers — especially women. And by consistently putting companies ahead of workers, he stands in direct contrast to what the Labor Department was created to do: protect the rights of American workers, and promote safety, health, and advancement within the workforce.
Making up two-thirds of the low-wage workforce, women — particularly women of color — would be disproportionately impacted by Andrew Puzder’s concerning stances on workplace policies.
Puzder has voiced opposition to many workplace policies that would benefit American workers, especially women and their families due to this overrepresentation of women in the low-wage workforce.
He has been a vocal opponent of raising the minimum wage, a critical policy for lifting women and their families out of poverty, especially when paired with the end to the tipped wage.
He has stood against paid leave laws, including the DOL rule ensuring access to earned paid sick days for federal contractors. As women are the sole, primary, or co-breadwinners in over two-thirds of Ohio households, being able to preserve wages while taking off time to care for a new child or ill or aging relative or address their own health concern is vital to the economic security of families.
Puzder has opposed policy initiatives for equal pay for equal work for women, such as the Paycheck Fairness Act — which would strengthen women’s ability to uncover and challenge pay discrimination.
Puzder has voiced opposition to the Department of Labor’s rule expanding overtime pay eligibility. And CKE restaurants, Carl’s Jr. and Hardees have routinely violated wage and hourly protection laws, with one recent investigation siting at least one wage and hour violation at 60 percent of the restaurant chains. Due to the overrepresentation of women in the low-wage workforce, the
end of the practice of wage theft and the recent overtime ruling would have an immense impact on women.
Andrew Puzder has also pushed extreme policies on to women’s health issues, which would have an impact on their workplace rights.
He authored fetal personhood legislation in Missouri, which would define life beginning at conception, aiming to ultimately overturn Roe V. Wade. These kinds of bills could threaten the workplace rights of pregnant women by potentially excluding them from the workplace on the basis of ‘fetal safety’ and leave room for discrimination by employers against women choosing to use contraception or terminate a pregnancy.
He has advocated for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which would jeopardize the healthcare coverage for millions of women and threaten access to vital services for reproductive, preventative, and primary health. The ACA has made health coverage affordable for many low- and middle-income women and families, and has provided protections from sex discrimination women faced regularly with healthcare in pricing, in coverage, and in access to care.
Along with his positions on key policy issues impacting women, his personal views and treatment of women — and a hostile culture for women at CKE companies under his tenure — further demonstrate that Andrew Puzder is unfit to serve as Labor Secretary.
CKE restaurants has released a series of television advertisements for the Carl’s Jr. and Hardees chains that sexually objectify women. In response to the outcry of sexism and objectification of women represented in the advertisements, Puzder responded by stating “We believe in putting hot models in our commercials, because ugly ones don’t sell burgers.”
Sexual harassment of female employees is a rampant problem in the fast-food industry with 40 percent of female fast-food workers reporting sexual harassment at their jobs in a recent survey, and has been a huge issue at CKE restaurants under Puzder’s leadership. Among women working at CKE Restaurants who
responded to the recent survey, a full two-thirds indicated that they had experienced sexual harassment by customers, co-workers, or supervisors.
And under Puzder’s tenure, the company has had numerous sexual harassment and sex discrimination lawsuits brought up against them. A recent analysis found that Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s had more federal harassment and discrimination lawsuits filed against them than any other fast food burger chain, since 2000, when Puzder became CEO of CKE.
Rather than addressing this pattern of behavior among his company’s workforce, he has instead promoted automation, stating that unlike employees, robots don’t file sex discrimination lawsuits.
Raise your voice and help push back on Andrew Puzder’s nomination:
Puzder’s has demonstrated again and again that he is unfit to serve as Labor Secretary. Working women deserve a Labor Secretary that will be a champion for them, and defend their rights in the workplace. Andrew Puzder is not that person, and should not be confirmed by the Senate.
Call 202–224–3121 to be connect with your Senators. Tell them that Puzder is not the right choice to defend the rights of American workers and urge them to vote NO on Andrew Puzder for Labor Secretary.
Visit the Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network website, at www.womenspublicpolicynetwork.org to sign up for our women’s policy email alerts to stay informed and get engaged with Puzder pushback, and other issues impacting women.
Share your opposition to Andrew Puzder as Labor Secretary on social media using #NotOurLaborSec