His selection would give the restaurant industry a zealous advocate at the highest level of policy-making. Puzder has come out strongly against minimum wage increases, the new overtime rules, the reclassification of restaurant franchisors as joint employers, and the employer mandates of Obamacare.
Puzder’s name appeared on the short list of possible cabinet nominees published in recent days by Politico, Reuters, Fortune and The Atlantic. Several reported that Puzder had advised Trump during his campaign, and some noted that the restaurant executive’s government-outsider status could provide an edge. Trump has vowed to wrest Washington away from the old guard and have it run by people with broader backgrounds.
Puzder is a lawyer by training. He came into the restaurant industry through his work as the personal attorney of Carl Karcher, the founder of Carl’s Jr. Puzder subsequently played a key role in Carl’s Jr.’s acquisition of Hardee’s, and was named CEO of the regional brands’ parent, CKE Restuarants, in 2000.
The other person reportedly under consideration for the labor secretary post is Victoria Lipnic, the commissioner of the EEOC and an assistant labor secretary under President George W. Bush.