Senator Bill Cassidy, the top Republican on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP), has raised concerns over President Biden’s pick for the next Labor Secretary, Julie Su.
He argues that Su would support policies that would harm franchise and gig economy workers. Cassidy claims that Su supported AB5 during her time as the Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, which aimed to restrict employers’ classifications of independent contractors.
According to Cassidy, the proposed regulations would destroy the gig economy and strip over 21 million individuals of their ability to be independent contractors and enjoy the flexibility it provides. Additionally, Su supported the “joint employer rule” in California, which would extend a franchisee operator’s liability to the franchisor. Cassidy believes this would uproot the franchise model that employs over 8 million Americans.
Cassidy’s concerns are an early indication of how Senate Republicans will approach Su’s nomination, following their success in blocking two high-profile Biden nominations in one month with the help of Democratic moderates. Su’s nomination will depend on whether Senate Democrats unite and support her.
However, it is unclear how moderate Democrats such as Senators Joe Manchin, Jon Tester, and Kyrsten Sinema, who approved Su’s nomination to be deputy secretary of labor, will vote on her nomination as labor secretary. As the Senate left for the Easter break, there was no indication of where they stood on Su’s nomination.