SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — President Joe Biden nominated Julie Su, the high of California’s labor agency, on Wednesday as the deputy U.S. secretary of labor, doubtlessly striking one more Californian in a high administration job and focusing a brighter spotlight on the disclose’s ongoing unemployment fraud scandal.
If confirmed by the Senate, Su would be tasked with serving to to lead a sprawling division that oversees guidelines that preserve an eye fixed on worker requirements and pay, space of enterprise security, workers’ compensation, unions, family and medical leave and further. She would work in partnership with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Biden’s nominee for labor secretary, if he’s confirmed.
Su was tapped in 2019 by Gov. Gavin Newsom to lead the California Labor and Crew Pattern Agency. It oversees everything from unemployment insurance coverage to crew increase, as successfully as the Agricultural Labor Members of the family Board and the Public Employee Members of the family Board.
“With a leader appreciate Julie at the helm — a tireless fighter for working American citizens and a divulge for the voiceless — the U.S. Division of Labor will play a central aim in guiding us by recovery in the direction of turning correct into a safer, extra equitable and further prosperous nation,” Newsom mentioned in a commentary.
But Su will doubtless face questions over the disclose’s handling of skyrocketing unemployment claims at some point of the pandemic. Train officials estimate California has doubtless paid out $11 billion in pretend funds, including to prisoners. These that misplaced their jobs as a outcome of of coronavirus-related industry closures in general waited weeks or even months for assessments, and hundreds of hundreds of folks may presumably have to pay relieve a few of their advantages as a outcome of the disclose overpaid them.
The California Employment Pattern falls below Su’s agency, although she does now not without delay inch it. California lawmakers from each parties had been highly severe of the division, although much of the criticism has centered on the Employment Pattern Division’s leadership. Aloof, she’s liable to face pushback and skepticism from participants of Congress, particularly Republicans.
Tom Manzo, head of the California Business and Industrial Alliance, sent letters this month to Republican Sens. Mitch McConnell and Richard Burr, criticizing Su for the disclose’s unemployment fraud as successfully as a disclose labor policy that enables workers to file court docket cases in opposition to their employers for civil penalties, which the neighborhood mentioned hurts shrimp companies.
Train Assemblyman David Chiu, who has been highly severe of the employment division, mentioned that the agency’s concerns existed earlier than Su’s tenure and that she has worked to treatment them.
“These had been concerns beyond her preserve an eye fixed on, nonetheless from what I’ve viewed she’s done everything, she presumably can to repair the difficulty,” he mentioned in December, when Asian-American and Pacific Islander groups had been urging Biden to nominate Su as the labor secretary.
Su beforehand served as the California’s labor commissioner from 2011 to 2018, a job that falls below the broader agency. Sooner than becoming a member of disclose authorities, Su worked as a attorney for Asian American citizens Advancing Justice in Los Angeles.
She obtained a MacArthur Basis fellowship, identified as a “genius grant,” in 2001 for her work defending Thai garment workers who worked for 18 hours a day at a sweatshop outside Los Angeles. A federal lawsuit she filed on behalf of the staff helped map the precedent that extended the responsibility for employment prerequisites to outlets and fashion labels, according to the muse’s web space. The staff also won U.S. citizenship.