Benefits Insights, Summer 2017
In April, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Alexander Acosta as the new Secretary of Labor, making him the first Hispanic in President Trump’s cabinet. Acosta was confirmed by a vote of 60 to 38, with strong Republican support along with eight Democrats and one independent in his favor. As the nation’s 27th labor secretary, Acosta will now lead an expansive agency that enforces more than 180 federal laws covering millions of workers and their employers.
In his role as labor secretary, Acosta is expected to move quickly to help Trump nominate other directors to head up the sub-agencies that drive regulatory enforcement and policy on everything from worker safety and civil rights to minimum wage. Some of these highly prominent positions include the Wage and Hour Division, the Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
Also, Acosta is expected to begin work on executing and reinforcing the broader themes of Trump’s agenda. Acosta has often spoken about promoting labor policies that are free of unnecessary, burdensome federal regulations. He is expected to focus on the main issues, many of which have been on hold or postponed awaiting the appointment of new leadership to the DOL. Acosta will need to determine how the DOL will address overtime and other rules established by the previous administration.