09.09.19

Eugene Scalia Letter of Support from Former Labor Officials

The Honorable Lamar Alexander Chairman
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Patty Murray
Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

August 30, 2019

Dear Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray,

We formerly served in various leadership positions as career attorneys and, in one case, as the Chief Administrative Law Judge, in the United States Department of Labor, and are writing to support the nomination of Eugene Scalia for the position of Secretary of Labor. We were all long-term employees of the Department of Labor and worked closely with Gene during his tenure as Solicitor of Labor and Acting Solicitor of Labor. Some of the undersigned worked in Washington, D.C., and others served in Regional Offices.

Gene would bring to the position of Secretary of Labor an in-depth knowledge of the Department of Labor (“DOL”) and all of the laws DOL is charged with administering and enforcing. These include the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Mine Safety and Health Act, and the Black Lung Benefits Act, among many others.

As Solicitor of Labor, Gene’s “clients” were the Secretary of Labor and all of the Assistant Secretaries who headed the various components of DOL. The mission of the Office of the Solicitor is to meet the legal service requirements of DOL by providing legal advice to the Secretary and other DOL officials, representing the Secretary and client agencies in both enforcement actions and defensive litigation, and providing legal assistance in the promulgation of regulations and legislative proposals.

Gene showed great respect for the mission of the Office of the Solicitor and DOL and understood the role of the Solicitor in ensuring that the laws and regulations within the agency’s purview were faithfully executed. He was very supportive of enforcement litigation to vindicate the rights of workers, both at the trial and appellate levels.

Gene would bring a powerful intellect to the position of Secretary of Labor. As Solicitor of Labor, he analyzed complicated legal issues on a daily basis. He was always willing to listen

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to divergent views. He quickly learned the intricacies of our laws and regulations and brought to the position thoughtful analyses and a willingness to make difficult decisions.

Gene was also very interested in pursuing initiatives to strengthen the Solicitor’s Office. The most notable example is his creation of the Honors Program to attract the best and brightest law school graduates. Honors attorneys spend their first two years handling a broad range of assignments before being placed in a permanent position. The program has been in effect for eighteen years now, and has been highly successful in recruiting, training and retaining a strong pool of new attorneys.

Gene’s temperament is well-suited to the position of Secretary of Labor. As Solicitor, Gene headed a legal staff of approximately 500 career attorneys and support staff, located in the Washington, D.C. area and in fourteen regional and branch offices. He consistently treated us with respect. He was fair, open and honest and listened attentively when we discussed legal issues with him. He also displayed a wry sense of humor and seemed to take delight in interacting with people. He is very much a “people person,” which made working with him an enjoyable experience.

For all of these reasons, we believe that Gene would be an outstanding Secretary of Labor in this Administration, and we fully support Gene’s nomination.

Respectfully,

Richard J. Fiore Jaylynn K. Fortney Theresa S. Gee
Craig W. Hukill
Judith E. Kramer
Frank V. McDermott Catherine O. Murphy Leslie Canfield Perlman Donald S. Shire Michael A. Stabler William W. Taylor John M. Vittone

Joseph M. Woodward