President-elect Donald Trump is expected to appoint fast food executive Andrew Puzder, a harsh critic of minimum wage increases, to be labor secretary.
Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which includes fast-food chains Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, has often spoken out against the $15 an hour minimum wage movement, arguing that companies won't make enough money per employee to sustain such an increase.
“If you give a minimum wage employee an increase to $12 dollars an hour, rather than making $6,300 an hour on employees, you lose about $1,100,” Puzder told the Hugh Hewitt radio show in April. “If you give them a raise to $15 dollars, you lose about $6,000 per employee. So you actually go from a situation where your, you’ve got a business that can survive and that has economic strength to a business that you really can’t run, you really can’t hire people, so, and you can’t offset these costs of this magnitude with pricing, even if there was meaningful inflation, which we don’t have.”
In addition opposing a $15 per hour minimum wage, which is considered a “bare minimum living wage” in large cities like Seattle, according to 15Now.org, Puzder has also opposed other pay rules. This includes a rule proposal by the Obama administration under current Labor Secretary Tom Perez that would have allowed salaried employees making less than $40,000 annually to be eligible for overtime pay, reported The New York Times.
In a Forbes opinion article, Puzder argued it would “add to the extensive regulatory maze the Obama Administration has imposed on employers.”
Puzder is also known for championing Carl's Jr. racy commercials, which have featured scantily clad women.
"I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it's very American," he told Entrepreneur in 2015. "I used to hear, brands take on the personality of the CEO. And I rarely thought that was true, but I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take on my personality."