Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold a confirmation hearing on President Donald Trump’s labor secretary nominee, Eugene Scalia. Scalia has a long history of defending corporations in their attempts to violate workers’ rights and has an especially egregious track record when it comes to women’s and disability rights.
Ahead of the hearing, Karla Walter, director of Employment Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
President Trump made a lot of promises to workers before he was elected but has spent his years in office breaking virtually all of them. The nomination of Eugene Scalia—a man who has made a career out of helping corporations escape liability when they violate workers’ rights—is one more broken promise. As a corporate attorney, Scalia fought against commonsense rules that would help ensure that working families have security in retirement. He even represented Sea World in its attempt to evade accountability after a killer whale attacked and killed a trainer. When Scalia helped lead the U.S. Department of Labor, serving as the solicitor of labor, the department too often failed to enforce workers’ most basic rights. One government investigation found that, during the George W. Bush administration, the agency often failed to respond to workers’ calls alleging wage theft or other labor violations. Working families deserve a better representative in government than Eugene Scalia.
Rebecca Cokley, director of the Disability Justice Initiative at CAP, added:
As we approach the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the nomination of Eugene Scalia as the secretary of labor is a slap in the face to an agency that has been the home of so many gains and achievements tied to the employment of people with disabilities. Scalia’s antiquated stance on reasonable accommodations; his disbelief in ergonomics as a tool to prevent injuries and disabilities on the job; his bullying of disabled plaintiffs and mocking of their diagnoses; and his overall joy at dismissing the largest class-action ADA lawsuit form a record that clearly stands on its own and says that under his leadership, disabled applicants and workers need not apply.
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