Speeches & Floor Statements

Alexander to Labor Nominees: You Will Be Responsible for Protecting Working Americans

Posted on October 4, 2017

WASHINGTON, October 4 — The Senate labor committee, chaired by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), today held a confirmation hearing on three labor nominees “tasked with leading important agencies that protect working Americans.”

The committee met to consider the nominations of Cheryl Stanton to serve as the Wage and Hour Division Administrator at the U.S. Department of Labor; David Zatezalo to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health; and Peter Robb to serve as the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

On Ms. Stanton, Alexander said, “As Wage and Hour Division Administrator, Ms. Stanton will be responsible for enforcing the federal laws that guarantee workers a minimum wage and overtime pay, and protect their jobs during family or medical leave, as well as child labor laws. The Division is examining the ‘Time Card,’ or overtime, rule – a provision put forward by the previous administration that would have more than doubled the salary threshold under which employees qualify for overtime pay. A federal court struck down the regulation and Secretary Acosta has already started the process to consider a more reasonable rule, and I hope Ms. Stanton will work with him and Congress on a more moderate approach.”

On Mr. Zatezalo, Alexander said, “In this role, Mr. Zatezalo will be responsible for enforcing mine safety laws and improving the safety of the mining profession. He is uniquely qualified to lead the Mine Safety and Health Administration, having started as a union-member miner and then worked his way up to lead an energy infrastructure company.”

On Mr. Robb, Alexander said, “As General Counsel to the NLRB, Mr. Robb will have the important job of helping workers who feel their right to organize collectively has been violated or assisting employers when some of their employees want to form a union. He also has an opportunity to help restore the Board to the role of a neutral umpire after years of partisanship have created confusion for employers, employees, and unions.”  

Ms. Stanton currently serves as the Executive Director for the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce. Prior to that role, Ms. Stanton worked as a labor and employment attorney in both the public and private sectors, including serving as Associate White House Counsel for President George W. Bush as the administration’s principal liaison to the Department of Labor.

Mr. Zatezalo was the General Superintendent for Southern Ohio Coal Company and General Manager of AEP’s Windsor Coal Company. He later rose to be Vice-President of Operations of AEP’s Appalachian Mining Operations and President and CEO of Rhino Resource Partners.

Mr. Robb currently works as the director of labor and employment at the law firm Dows Rachlin and Marin, and previously served as chief counsel to NLRB Member Robert Hunter, and was a regional field attorney for the NLRB in Baltimore.

Alexander’s full prepared remarks here: