Nothing Scalia Said At His Hearing Laid to Rest Concerns Over His Extreme Anti-Worker Record and Corporate Conflicts of Interest

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At today’s Senate confirmation hearing for Trump Labor Secretary nominee Eugene Scalia, the long-time corporate lawyer failed to explain how his history of undermining the Labor Department’ mission, his extreme views on sexual harassment and safety at the workplace, and his numerous potential conflicts of interests with former clients — in any way makes him a responsible choice to be workers’ advocate-in-chief. Consumer watchdog group Allied Progress called on the Senate HELP committee to stand up for the workers they represent and vote NO when Scalia’s nomination comes to a vote next Tuesday.

“Eugene Scalia is a corporate lawyer to the bone,” said Derek Martin, Director of Allied Progress. “Just as Scalia made no apologies for spending his entire career opposing the interests of working people, no apology will be necessary from Senators who demand a new nominee that actually cares about the Labor Department’s mission. A well-known enemy of the agency should not be put in charge of it.”

Martin continued, “This is someone who reflexively argues that CEOs are virtually always right and their employees are always wrong when there are allegations of harm at the workplace. It’s not hard to imagine Scalia using his power at Secretary to throw out the rules that hold his former corporate clients in check. Because it’s what he’s been trying to do his entire career.”

Hearing Lowlights: 

  • During his opening remarks, Scalia claimed to be an “unseen” force against workplace sexual misconduct. But he can only be judged by his public actions as someone who defended a major auto manufacturer as it was sued for harboring a culture of sexual harassment, and as someone who, in his free time, argued companies shouldn’t be held accountable for responsible for bosses who sexually assault their employers. Later on, Scalia declared he was ‘struck and disappointed’ by the workplace abuses exposed by #MeToo movement, then in the same breath he referenced his work helping corporate clients avoid culpability for this kind of behavior.

  • Scalia dodged a question about the need to increase OSHA inspectors, suggesting that his extreme view that the federal government should not have a leading role in workplace safety has not improved.

  • With a straight face, Scalia claimed he agreed with the goals of the Labor Department’s Fiduciary Rule, the Obama-era consumer protection that required financial advisers and their firms provide retirement investment advice that is in their clients’ best interests. And yet Scalia conveniently glossed over his work for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2017 as it challenged the rule and how the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ultimately ruled in Scalia’s client’s favor, effectively delaying the rule and allowing unscrupulous Wall Street brokers to continue grifting their own clients out of billions of dollars of retirement savings.





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