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.”
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.
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.
PREVIOUSLY FROM ALLIED PROGRESS:
- Allied Progress Letter To Senate HELP Committee: Reject Eugene Scalia And His Irredeemable Anti-Worker Record
- Eugene Scalia Spent Career Fighting Against the Labor Department’s Mission To Protect Workers’ Safety, Wages, Retirements, and Rights
- Eugene Scalia’s Workplace Safety Record Too Dangerous for the Labor Department
- Would Eugene Scalia Support Anti-LGBT Businesses As Labor Secretary?
- Eugene Scalia’s Corporate Client List Makes Him the Most Conflicted Labor Secretary Pick in Recent Memory
- Scalia Argued Companies Shouldn’t Necessarily Bear Legal Responsibility for Bosses Who Sexually Assault or Threaten Employees