On Wednesday, February 15, President Donald Trump's pick for Labor Secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew himself from the nomination before his first confirmation hearing after reports that support for his position was faltering. Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the company that owns Hardee's and Carl's Jr. fast food chains, and has faced criticism in the past for his record on workers' rights and past charges of domestic abuse. Democrats and labor activists attacked him on his history of fighting against government regulation, raising the minimum wage and Obamacare. A week before withdrawing himself from the nomination, Puzder admitted to employing an undocumented immigrant as his housekeeper, but said he let her go when he discovered her undocumented status. Puzder's contentious nomination was plagued with former and current workers at Hardee's and Carl's Jr.'s announcements of state and federal complaints against their employers ranging from wage theft and manipulated overtime to sexual harassment and unfair labor practices. The decision was made after Senate Republicans told the White House that Puzder's support was waning.
Replacement nominee R. Alexander Acosta was named by President Donald Trump on Thursday, February 16. Acosta is the dean of the law school at Florida International University and has been a member of the National Labor Relations Board. He was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida and served as assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division under President George W. Bush. If Acosta is confirmed, he will be the first Hispanic member of President Trump's Cabinet, which has been criticized by Democrats for its lack of diversity.