WASHINGTON Feb 7 U.S. President Donald Trump's
choice to lead the Labor Department has admitted to employing an
undocumented immigrant as a house cleaner, according to multiple
media reports on a revelation that has derailed previous Cabinet
Andrew Pudzer, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants
Inc, is one of several Trump nominees who faced
strong opposition from Senate Democrats and progressive groups.
He has criticized an overtime rule championed by the Obama
administration and opposed raising the minimum wage to $15 an
An aide for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor
and Pensions said a week ago that the panel would not
"officially" schedule a hearing until it receives Pudzer's
paperwork from the Office of Government Ethics.
Some political strategists said that could signal trouble
for the fast-food executive.
Several media reports quoted a statement from Pudzer late on
Monday as saying he took action as soon as he learned that his
housekeeper, whom he and his wife had employed for a few years,
was not legally permitted to work in the United States.
"We immediately ended her employment and offered her
assistance in getting legal status," he said in the statement,
which was cited by the Huffington Post, the New York Times and
other media. He said he and his wife paid back taxes for
employing the maid to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and to
the state of California.
Previous presidential appointees have run into problems over
Linda Chavez, nominated for labor secretary by President
George W. Bush in 2001, allowed a Guatemalan woman who was in
the United States illegally to live in her home and gave her
Zoe Baird, President Bill Clinton's nominee for attorney
general in 1993, withdrew from consideration after she admitted
hiring two illegal immigrants as a driver and a nanny and not
paying their Social Security taxes.
Another Bush nominee, former New York City police
commissioner Bernard Kerik, withdrew his name from consideration
for homeland security secretary in 2004 after he disclosed that
questions had been raised about the legal status of a former
housekeeper and nanny.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)