On the Confirmation of Alexander Acosta as Labor Secretary

Washington, DC—Following is a statement from Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project:

“Today, the Senate confirmed Alexander Acosta to be the next U.S. secretary of labor. While we continue to have serious concerns about some of Mr. Acosta’s responses during his confirmation hearing—as well as questions left unanswered—we believe that workers’ interests are best respected and promoted when all stakeholders are at the Labor Department’s table, and we are committed to being there and remaining engaged. We will do everything within our power to ensure that a Labor Department led by Mr. Acosta will continue to vigorously enforce the laws that guarantee fair pay, safe and healthy workplaces, and employment free of discrimination.

“In particular, we hope that Secretary Acosta and the team he assembles will work with NELP and our many allies on protecting the rights of all workers, regardless of their immigration status, for if the administration truly wants to be a champion of the American worker, it can only do so by zealously protecting the rights of all workers in America.

“On all fronts, NELP will continue to push to raise the federal minimum wage; implement much-needed reforms to overtime protections; vigorously protect the health and safety of all workers; remove unfair barriers to work for all who seek employment, including the formerly incarcerated; reinvigorate the unemployment insurance system; enact family-friendly work policies; ban mandatory arbitration of employment disputes; and enact better protections to ensure equal pay.

“We welcome Secretary Acosta to join workers and their advocates in these fights and deliver the kind of policy reforms that our nation’s working families need and deserve.”

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