By Evan Henerson

Who better to evaluate a captain of industry’s ability to lead than the men and women manning the ship’s oars?

Such is the reasoning of the nearly 24 Senate Democrats who have petitioned to allow fast food workers to speak at the confirmation hearing of Andrew Puzder, President-Elect Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Labor.

Since Puzder is the CEO of CKE Enterprises, parent company to Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, and since Carl’s Jr. restaurants are facing “several potential class action lawsuits” by employees over wages and similar disputes,  Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Patty Murray of Washington figure the fast food workers might have some valuable input. Every year since 2009, Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s has had at least one violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“It is essential that the committee hear from these employees and other Americans who have had first-hand experience with Mr. Puzder or the businesses he has led,” Warren, Murray and the senators wrote to Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “If confirmed to serve as Secretary of Labor, Mr. Puzder would be responsible for overseeing the enforcement of many of the labor laws his company has repeatedly violated. These federal laws are designed to ensure that American workers are paid fairly for their work, are able to work in a safe environment, and can achieve financial security for themselves and their families.

Per the Times article, Alexander isn’t exactly warm to the idea. The nominees themselves are usually the sole witness at their own confirmation hearings.

Puzder’s confirmation hearing is scheduled to take place the week of January 16.

Read the rest of the Times story here. Read the full text of the letter here.

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