Acosta Makes An Impressive Showing at Senate Confirmation Hearing

In
a deft and professional performance, Secretary of Labor designee Alex Acosta
indicated that if confirmed, he would give thoughtful review to the various
challenges facing Department of Labor (DOL).
Specifically, Acosta indicated that he was open to examining, the
overtime regulation, Wage and Hour’s view on joint employer, job training, and
a return to DOL opinion letters.

Acosta
faced questions from both sides of the aisle on his position regarding the enjoined
overtime regulations.  He expressed his
wish to examine both the exemption threshold and duties test, acknowledging
that the current threshold is behind the times, but expressed concern with the
extreme impact of the enjoined regulations.

Acosta
also voiced strong support for the traditional definition of the joint-employer
relationship, contrary to the position taken by the Obama Administration.  In response to bi-partisan concerns about the
future of job training and Job Corps. programs, Acosta voiced intent to
evaluate job-training programs with a specific emphasis on fostering successful
programs at the local level.  Acosta
clearly stated support for the Department to return to issuing Opinion Letters,
as opposed to the often amorphous Interpretations issued by Obama’s DOL.  When asked about the way OFCCP has been using
statistics in compliance evaluations, Acosta simply recognized the validity of
disparate impact analysis in discrimination cases.

Generally, with respect to
the reorganization of the Department and the reexamination of regulations, as
instructed by recent Executive Orders, Acosta made clear that he would be
responsive to the directions from his boss, the President.