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Shinn Legal, PLC
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Today, President Donald Trump announced former National Labor Relations Board member Alexander Acosta will be his new labor secretary candidate. This comes less than a day after Mr. Trump's first choice, Andrew Puzder, dropped out. In contrast to Mr. Puzder, Mr. Acosta has an impressive amount of relevant experience that should make it difficult for Democrats to object to his nomination.

Mr. Acosta is a former clerk for Justice Samuel Alito. Also, he served on the board for eight months in 2003, before President George W. Bush appointed him as his assistant attorney general for civil rights. Mr. Acosta was also a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Mr. Acosta is a graduate of Harvard Law School. 

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Trump's labor nominee Puzder withdraws over concerns about his personal and professional background

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The text message read, "You remember you said that you would help me kill my wife. I’m going to take you up on that offer." However, police reported that the text message was mistakenly sent by a Washington state man to his ex-boss and not the intended hitman. Certainly (and thankfully) not a human resource issue employers expect or deal with on a regular basis. http://ow.ly/6swj3092ehe

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Four Republicans are withholding support for President Trump's pick, Andy Puzder, to head the Department of Labor. Mr. Puzder is a fast-food executive who has run into resistance on Capitol Hill over his admission that he employed an undocumented housekeeper, among other issues. Senator Warren (yes, she's still persisting) expressed her concerns in a letter asking Mr. Puzder to address conflict issues: “Your company's record of prolific labor law abuses and discrimination suits—the most of any major burger chain—gives me great pause given that as labor secretary you'd be charged with enforcing these very laws.“

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Another community, this time Jackson, Michigan, enacts a local ordinance prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination In employment and other areas. Politicians at the state level have been unwilling or unable to amend Michigan's main civil rights statute (Elliot-Larsen) to extend such protections. In the absence of such leadership or inability at the state level, there are over 40 communities that have enacted similar ordinances. What is especially interesting to me and I hear similar sentiments from my business clients is that extending anti-discrimination protections that already exist to include sexual orientation discrimination is not only the right thing to do, but it is also an increasing business necessity in terms of attracting and retaining talented employees. 

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Hiring the No. 2 Guy on al-Qaeda's Hit List: An Uber-Example of Limitations in Employee Background Checks. This is the take-away from a recent article about Uber (mistakenly probably) hiring a "Preacher" Terry Jones. He made worldwide headlines in 2010 when he organized “International Burn a Koran Day.” He also carried a gun in violation of Uber's no-gun policy.

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On Friday, Feb. 3, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported employers added 227,000 jobs in January. The BLS also said the nation's unemployment rate stands at 4.8 percent.

President Trump's Press Secretary on Friday said, “Obviously we're pleased; 227,000 jobs is a great kickoff,” Spicer said of the jobs report.

However, Candidate Trump is on record as describing the BLS job report as fake and propaganda to support President Barack Obama's economic agenda. See Trump speech below at about the 26:40-minute mark.



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President Trump appointed Victoria Lipnic to Chair the EEOC. This is definitely good news for employers. But it is also a relief for employees (especially in light of other appointments Trump has made). Ms. Lipnic has both the employment law experience and willingness to put legal issues above politics.

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Companies focus on maximizing social media strategies to promote the business. The transition between the Obama and Trump administration highlighted numerous social media issues that employers need to pay close attention to concerning business, employees, and social media accounts.
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