President-elect Donald Trump has picked Andrew Puzder, the head of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast food restaurants, as his nominee for Labor secretary, a source familiar with the decision tells CNN.
Puzder, 66, is a vocal critic of government regulation and opposes a $15 minimum wage, broader overtime pay and the Affordable Care Act.
The fast food industry in particular has been the target of nationwide protests pushing for a $15 minimum wage, up from the current $7.25.
In March, Puzder said a $15 minimum wage, mandatory paid sick leave laws and the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, raise costs for employers and force them to rely more on automated technology.
“While the technology is becoming much cheaper, government mandates have been making labor much more expensive,” he wrote.
Puzder told the Los Angeles Times in March that he’s not opposed to raising the federal minimum wage above $7.25 or pegging it to inflation, though he said a jump to $15 an hour will cost workers their jobs.
Puzder has also been one of the harshest critics of an Obama administration rule that would require workers who make less than $47,500 and work 40 hours per week be paid overtime. The rule was put on hold by a federal judge in November.
“The real world is far different than the Labor Department’s Excel spreadsheet,” Puzder wrote in a Forbes guest column in May.
“This new rule will simply add to the extensive regulatory maze the Obama Administration has imposed on employers, forcing many to offset increased labor expense by cutting costs elsewhere.”