January 09, 2017

Duckworth Questions Workers Formerly Employed By Department of Labor Nominee Andrew Puzder


WASHINGTON, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) questioned several workers who have been employed or are currently by Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder's fast food corporation and listened to their testimony about the nominee's labor practices. In today's witness testimony, the employees described their experiences working at companies owned by Mr. Puzder, including being denied paid leave and being required to work in food service and preparation while ill. Workers without paid sick days are more likely to go to work when they are sick and risk infecting others. The footage of Senator Duckworth at the hearing is available by request to sean_savett@duckworth.senate.gov.

"The United States is one of the only developed nations that does not guarantee paid annual leave, paid time off for illness or paid parental leave," said Senator Duckworth. "Every single day, hardworking Americans-including some who work for companies owned by the nominee to be our next Labor Secretary-are forced to choose between taking care of themselves, their newborn children or their sick family members and earning a paycheck they cannot afford to go without. It's a public health problem when customers at restaurants like Hardee's are served food that was prepared by someone who should have called in sick but wasn't allowed to. I appreciate the testimony delivered to us today by these Puzder company employees, and hope Mr. Puzder can adequately respond to them. Workers across Illinois and throughout the country deserve to know where their Labor Secretary stands on important issues such as paid leave and others."

Senator Duckworth has been a leading voice for expanding paid leave policies since she was first elected to Congress. She has introduced a comprehensive proposal requiring the military to provide 12 weeks of parental leave benefits to mothers, fathers, and adoptive parents who choose to serve in our Armed Forces. Duckworth has also introduced legislation to expand access to on-campus child care for the 1 in 4 college students who are also parents, and to ensure mothers are able use clean, safe accessible lactation rooms while traveling through our nation's airports.