Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

No Longer Secretary of Labor-Designate Solis


By an 80-17 vote, the Senate today confirmed Representative Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor. See, Solis Confirmed as Labor Secretary. Although it took awhile, for some time now it has been clear that this would happen.

What is new "news" is the appointment of Seth Harris as the Deputy Secretary of Labor. According to a Chicago Sun-Times story announcing a number of sub-cabinet level appointments including Harris, here is his background:
Seth Harris, Nominee for Deputy Secretary of the Department of Labor Harris was most recently the Obama Transition Project's Agency Working Group Leader for the labor, education, and transportation agencies. He is a Professor and the Director of Labor & Employment Law Programs at New York Law School. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Life Without Limits Project of the United Cerebral Palsy Association and a member of the National Advisory Commission on Workplace Flexibility. He served as the Chair of Obama for America's Labor, Employment, and Workplace Policy Committee and a Co-Chair of its Disability Policy Committee. During the Clinton Administration, he served as Counselor to the Secretary of Labor and Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Policy, among other policy-advising positions. Before joining the administration, he was a law clerk to Judge William Canby of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and Judge Gene Carter of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine. He graduated cum laude from New York University School of Law where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Review of Law & Social Change. He received his Bachelor's degree from Cornell University's School of Industrial & Labor Relations.
Although it is not 100% clear that it is newly appointed Seth Harris, there is a Seth Harris blog on the Obama campaign website. See newest post here. Given the reference to the Disability Conference Call, which seems to match his duties as Co-chair of the Disability Policy Committee of Obama's transition team, I am assuming it is his, although I would welcome confirmation or correction if I am in error.

If in fact it is the newly appointed number two person at the Department of Labor's blog, it probably will not make any employers who read through the various postings sleep any better.

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