Monday, March 18, 2013

New Labor Secretary: Thomas Perez to be Nominated

President Obama has announced that his nomination for the Secretary of Labor replacing Hilda Solis will be Thomas Perez. Mr. Perez is a career government employee who has a history as a civil rights advocate and an advocate for the disabled.

In replacing Ms. Solis who has been hailed by no less than AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka as a wonderful friend to organized labor, Mr. Perez will have the opportunity to continue Ms. Solis's initiatives. Specifically with respect to employee benefit and compensation programs, my view on his most likely direction will be strong advocacy for blue collar workers, the unemployed and the disabled. This would mean that big business including those who work in benefits administration for big businesses might be on the lookout for:

  • Even more enhanced disclosures
  • Re-issuance of ERISA fiduciary regulations
  • Perhaps strengthened guidance under the Fair Labor Standards Act
Assuming he is confirmed (personally, I expect this nomination to fly through the Senate), we will see soon enough what Mr. Perez actually chooses to do.

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