“The real world is far different than the Labor Department’s Excel spreadsheet,” wrote Andy Puzder, Donald Trump’s reported choice for Secretary of Labor. As longtime CEO of of CKE Restaurants, Puzder has been on the front lines of that “real world” — especially on the issue of minimum wage, a battle which has been fought largely in the fast food world where minimum wage is often the default option. CKE owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., among other restaurant brands. Puzder was writing in Forbes, trying to explain to government types the “harsh reality of regulating over time pay” — and pay in general.
Puzder’s claim is that the regulation would ultimately cost workers jobs — one reason being that a finite pool of funds to pay workers will allow for fewer workers if they’re paid more. Puzder contends that while the Labor Department’s spreadsheet may paint a nice picture, in reality it means “reduced opportunities, bonuses, benefits, perks and promotions.” Puzder was specifically addressing a Labor Department plan to turn salaried employees into hourly wage earners, ensuring they are compensated for overtime.