United States Secretary of Labor

The United States Secretary of Labor is a member of the Cabinet of the United States, and as the head of the United States Department of Labor, controls the department, and enforces and suggests laws involving unions, the workplace, and all other issues involving any form of business-person controversies.

Formerly, there was a U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Labor, who led this department along with the U.S. Department of Commerce as one department. Since the two departments split in 1913, the Department of Commerce is now headed by a separate U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

Alexander Acosta has been Secretary of Labor since April 28, 2017.

Flag of the United States Secretary of Labor 1915-1960
The former flag of the U.S. Secretary of Labor, used from 1915 to 1960.
United States Secretary of Labor
Seal of the United States Department of Labor
Seal of the Department
Flag of the United States Secretary of Labor
Flag of the Secretary
Alexander Acosta headshot
Alexander Acosta

since April 28, 2017
United States Department of Labor
StyleMr. Secretary
Member ofCabinet
Reports toPresident of the United States
SeatFrances Perkins Building, Washington, D.C.
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthNo fixed term
Constituting instrument29 U.S.C. § 551
PrecursorSecretary of Commerce and Labor
FormationMarch 4, 1913
First holderWilliam B. Wilson
DeputyDeputy Secretary of Labor
SalaryExecutive Schedule, level I

List of Secretaries of Labor


  Democratic (12)   Republican (15)

No. Portrait Name State of Residence Took office Left office President(s)
1 Wilson William B. Wilson Pennsylvania March 6, 1913 March 4, 1921 Woodrow Wilson
2 Davis James J. Davis Pennsylvania March 5, 1921 November 30, 1930 Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
3 Doak William N. Doak Virginia December 9, 1930 March 4, 1933
4 Perkins Frances Perkins New York March 4, 1933 June 30, 1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
5 Schwellenbach Lewis B. Schwellenbach Washington July 1, 1945 June 10, 1948
6 Tobin Maurice J. Tobin Massachusetts August 13, 1948 January 20, 1953
7 Durkin Martin P. Durkin Maryland January 21, 1953 September 10, 1953 Dwight D. Eisenhower
8 Mitchell James P. Mitchell New Jersey October 9, 1953 January 20, 1961
9 Goldberg Arthur Goldberg Illinois January 21, 1961 September 20, 1962 John F. Kennedy
10 Wirtz W. Willard Wirtz Illinois September 25, 1962 January 20, 1969
Lyndon B. Johnson
11 Shultz George P. Shultz Illinois January 22, 1969 July 1, 1970 Richard Nixon
12 Hodgson James D. Hodgson California July 2, 1970 February 1, 1973
13 Brennan Peter J. Brennan New York February 2, 1973 March 15, 1975
Gerald Ford
14 Dunlop John T. Dunlop Massachusetts March 18, 1975 January 31, 1976
15 Usery William Usery Jr. Georgia February 10, 1976 January 20, 1977
16 Marshall Ray Marshall Texas January 27, 1977 January 20, 1981 Jimmy Carter
17 Donovan Raymond J. Donovan New Jersey February 4, 1981 March 15, 1985 Ronald Reagan
18 Brock Bill Brock Tennessee April 29, 1985 October 31, 1987
19 McLaughlin Ann Dore McLaughlin District of Columbia December 17, 1987 January 20, 1989
20 Dole Elizabeth Dole Kansas January 25, 1989 November 23, 1990 George H. W. Bush
21 Martin Lynn M. Martin Illinois February 22, 1991 January 20, 1993
22 Reich Robert Reich Massachusetts January 22, 1993 January 20, 1997 Bill Clinton
23 Herman Alexis Herman Alabama May 1, 1997 January 20, 2001
24 Chao Elaine Chao Kentucky January 29, 2001 January 20, 2009 George W. Bush
Radzely Howard Radzely Pennsylvania January 20, 2009 February 2, 2009 Barack Obama
Hugler Ed Hugler Pennsylvania February 2, 2009 February 24, 2009
25 Solis Hilda Solis California February 24, 2009 January 22, 2013
Harris Seth Harris New York January 22, 2013 July 23, 2013
26 Perez Tom Perez Maryland July 23, 2013 January 20, 2017
Hugler Ed Hugler Pennsylvania January 20, 2017 April 27, 2017 Donald Trump
27 Acosta Alex Acosta Florida April 28, 2017 Incumbent

Living former Secretaries of Labor

As of April 2019, there are twelve living former Secretaries of Labor (with all Secretaries that have served since 1977 still living), the oldest being George P. Shultz (served 1969–1970, born 1920). The most recent Secretary of Labor to die was William Usery Jr. (served 1976–1977, born 1923), on December 10, 2016.

Name Term of office Date of birth (and age)
George P. Shultz 1969–1970 December 13, 1920 (age 98)
Ray Marshall 1977–1981 August 22, 1928 (age 90)
Raymond J. Donovan 1981–1985 August 31, 1930 (age 88)
Bill Brock 1985–1987 November 23, 1930 (age 88)
Ann Dore McLaughlin 1987–1989 November 16, 1941 (age 77)
Elizabeth H. Dole 1989–1990 July 29, 1936 (age 82)
Lynn Morley Martin 1991–1993 December 26, 1939 (age 79)
Robert Reich 1993–1997 June 24, 1946 (age 72)
Alexis Herman 1997–2001 July 16, 1947 (age 71)
Elaine Chao 2001–2009 March 26, 1953 (age 66)
Hilda Solis 2009–2013 October 20, 1957 (age 61)
Thomas Perez 2013–2017 October 7, 1961 (age 57)

Line of succession

The line of succession for the Secretary of Labor is as follows:[2]

  1. Deputy Secretary of Labor
  2. Solicitor of Labor
  3. Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management
  4. Assistant Secretary for Policy
  5. Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs
  6. Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training
  7. Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security
  8. Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health
  9. Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health
  10. Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
  11. Chief Financial Officer
  12. Administrator, Wage and Hour Division
  13. Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training
  14. Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy
  15. Deputy Solicitor of Labor (First Assistant of the Solicitor of Labor)
  16. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy (First Assistant of the Assistant Secretary for Policy)
  17. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs (First Assistant of the Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs)
  18. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training (First Assistant of the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training)
  19. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy (First Assistant of the Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security)
  20. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health (First Assistant of the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health)
  21. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health (First Assistant of the Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health)
  22. Regional Solicitor—Dallas
  23. Regional Administrator for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management—Region VI/Dallas

Designated Secretarial Designee

If none of the above officials are available to serve as Acting Secretary of Labor, the Designated Secretarial Designee assumes interim operational control over the Department, except the Secretary's non-delegable responsibilities.

  1. Director, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
  2. Director of the Women's Bureau
  3. Regional Administrator, Employment and Training Administration—Dallas
  4. Regional Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration—Dallas

See also


  1. ^ 3 U.S.C. § 19, Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act
  2. ^ "Order of Succession to the Secretary of Labor in Periods of Vacancy, Continuity of Executive Direction, Repositioning and Devolution of Departmental Governance, and Emergency Planning Under Circumstances of Extreme Disruption". Federal Register. January 19, 2017. Retrieved June 2, 2017.

External links

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Wilbur Ross
as Secretary of Commerce
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of Labor
Succeeded by
Alex Azar
as Secretary of Health and Human Services
U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of Commerce
Wilbur Ross
11th in line Succeeded by
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Alex Azar
2002 United States Senate election in North Carolina

The 2002 United States Senate election in North Carolina was held on November 5, 2002. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Jesse Helms decided to retire due to health issues. Republican Elizabeth Dole won the open seat.

Administrative Review Board (Labor)

In April 1996, the United States Secretary of Labor established the Administrative Review Board (ARB) to succeed the former Board of Service Contract Appeals, Wage Appeals Board, and Office of Administrative Appeals. The board consists of a maximum of five members, one of whom is designated the chair. The Secretary of Labor appoints the members based upon their qualifications and competence in matters within the board’s authority.

The board’s cases arise upon appeal from decisions of Department of Labor Administrative Law Judges or the administrator of the department’s Wage and Hour Division. The board issues final agency decisions for the Secretary of Labor in cases arising under a wide range of labor laws, primarily involving environmental, transportation and securities whistleblower protection; immigration; child labor; employment discrimination; job training; seasonal and migrant workers and federal construction and service contracts. Depending upon the statute at issue, the board’s decisions may be appealed to federal district or appellate courts.

Alexander Acosta

Rene Alexander Acosta (born January 16, 1969) is an American attorney, academic and politician who is the 27th and current United States Secretary of Labor. President Donald Trump nominated Acosta to be Labor Secretary on February 16, 2017, and he was confirmed by the Senate on April 27, 2017. Acosta is the first, and as of February 2019 the only Hispanic person to serve in Trump's cabinet. (Jovita Carranza recipient of the "Woman of the Year" award by Hispanic Business Magazine was nominated to Trump's cabinet on April 4, 2019. President Trump nominated Carranza to be Administrator of the Small Business Administration.)

A Republican, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the National Labor Relations Board and later served as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and federal prosecutor for the Southern District of Florida. He is the former dean of Florida International University College of Law.

In late 2018, a Miami Herald report critical of a federal non-prosecution agreement with serial child molester and influential billionaire Jeffrey Epstein -- which had been approved by Acosta a decade earlier while he was serving as US Attorney for Southern District of Florida -- became a focus of Congressional concern and led to calls for an independent investigation and for Acosta's resignation from the Trump Administration. Previously, Acosta had publicly stated that the federal agreement (which required a guilty plea in state court and restitution to victims) was determined by prosecutors to be the best way to assure a conviction. When the controversy resurfaced, Acosta said he welcomed the opportunity to participate in any inquiry, and the US Justice Department notified Congress in early 2019 that it had opened an investigation into the federal handling of the Epstein case.

Ann McLaughlin Korologos

Ann McLaughlin Korologos (born Ann Marie Lauenstein; November 16, 1941), formerly known as Ann Dore McLaughlin, was the United States Secretary of Labor from 1987 to 1989.

Elaine (given name)

Elaine is a given name, one of the variants of Helen, and may refer to:

Elaine Brown (born 1940), involved with a dispute with the US government

Elaine Chao (born 1953), United States Secretary of Labor

Elaine Cheris (born 1946), American Olympic fencer

Elaine Fifield (1930–1999), Australian ballerina

Elaine Fine (born 1959), American musician and composer

Elaine M. Goodwin, British mosaic artist

Elaine Gumbs-Vlaun (born 1944), St Maartener social worker and politician

Elaine Hamilton-O'Neal (1920–2010), American artist

Elaine Ingham, American microbiologist and soil biology researcher

Elaine Luria, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia's 2nd district, and former United States Navy Commander

Elaine E Moura (born 1982), Brazilian football (soccer) player

Elaine Nolan (born 1981), Irish cricketer

Elaine Thompson (born 1992), Jamaican sprinter

Elaine Wang (born 2009), a banana peal

Employees' Compensation Appeals Board

The Employees' Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB) was created in 1946 by statute to hear appeals taken from determinations and awards under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act with respect to claims of federal employees injured in the course of their employment. The Board has final authority to determine the liability of the Federal government with respect to the disability or death of employees injured in the scope of their employment. There is no further administrative or judicial appeal of ECAB decisions. The Board, by statute, consists of three Members appointed by the United States Secretary of Labor, one of whom is designated as Chairman of the Board and administrative manager. The current Chairman is Judge Christopher James Godfrey. He was appointed by Thomas E. Perez, Secretary of Labor on July 28, 2014. Patricia Howard Fitzgerald is a Judge and Vice Chair. Alternate members are Judge Alec J. Koromilas and Judge Valerie Evans-Harrell.

Employment Standards Administration

The Employment Standards Administration (ESA) was the largest agency within the U.S. Department of Labor. Its four subagencies enforced and administerered laws governing legally mandated wages and working conditions, including child labor, minimum wages, overtime pay, and family and medical leave; equal employment opportunity in businesses with federal contracts and subcontracts; workers' compensation for certain employees injured on their jobs; internal union democracy, financial integrity, and union elections, which protect the rights of union members; and other laws and regulations governing employment standards and practices.The ESA was eliminated on November 8, 2009. As of that date, ESA's four subagencies are now independent and report directly to the United States Secretary of Labor.

Gail Shibley

Gail R. Shibley (born c. 1958) is an American politician who was the first openly gay person to serve in the Oregon State Legislature.She was appointed to the Oregon House of Representatives in January 1991, to fill a vacancy caused by Phil Keisling's resignation to serve as Oregon Secretary of State. She was elected to the seat in 1992 and re-elected in 1994. In 1996, she did not run for re-election, but instead ran for an open seat on the City Council of Portland. She was narrowly defeated by Jim Francesconi. Shibley subsequently moved to Germany, where she was an international liaison for the Saxony parliament, and then Washington, D.C., where she worked for the Federal Highway Administration, and was a senior advisor to the United States Secretary of Labor.She subsequently returned to Oregon, working on Ted Kulongoski's campaign for Governor of Oregon in the 2002 gubernatorial election. She later served as the administrator of the Office of Environmental Public Health within the Oregon Health Authority. In December 2012, newly elected Portland Mayor Charlie Hales announced that Shibley would serve as his chief of staff when he assumed office in January 2013. She was described as having a "peer-to-peer" relationship with Hales, coming in as experienced chief of staff in recent times.

H-2B visa

The H-2B visa nonimmigrant program permits employers to hire foreign workers to come temporarily to the United States and perform temporary nonagricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peakload or intermittent basis.The H-2B visa classification requires the United States Secretary of Homeland Security to consult with appropriate agencies before admitting H-2B non-immigrants. Homeland Security regulations require that, except for Guam, the petitioning employer first apply for a temporary labor certification from the United States Secretary of Labor indicating that: (1) there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are capable of performing the temporary services or labor at the time of filing the petition for H-2B classification and at the place where the foreign worker is to perform the work; and (2) the employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. The Department of Labor will review and process all H-2B applications on a first in, first out basis.Employers seeking to employ temporary H-2B workers must apply for Temporary Employment Certification to the Chicago National Processing Center (NPC). An employer may submit a request for multiple unnamed foreign workers as long as each worker is to perform the same services or labor, on the same terms and conditions, in the same occupation, in the same area of intended employment during the same period of employment. Certification is issued to the employer, not the worker, and is not transferable from one employer to another or from one worker to another.

James P. Mitchell

James Paul Mitchell (November 12, 1900 – October 19, 1964) was an American politician and businessman from New Jersey. Nicknamed "the social conscience of the Republican Party," he served as United States Secretary of Labor from 1953 to 1961 during the Eisenhower Administration. Mitchell was a potential running mate for the 1960 Republican presidential candidate, Vice President Richard M. Nixon. However, Nixon chose Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. After an unsuccessful run for Governor of New Jersey in 1961, he retired from politics.

Lewis B. Schwellenbach

Lewis Baxter Schwellenbach (September 20, 1894 – June 10, 1948) was a United States Senator from Washington, a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington and the 5th United States Secretary of Labor.

Maurice J. Tobin

Maurice Joseph Tobin (May 22, 1901 – July 19, 1953) was a Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, the Governor of Massachusetts, and United States Secretary of Labor. He was a Democrat and a liberal who supported the New Deal and Fair Deal programs, and was outspoken in his support for labor unions. However, he had little success battling against the conservative majorities in the Massachusetts legislature, and the U.S. Congress.

Peter J. Brennan

Peter Joseph Brennan (May 24, 1918 – October 2, 1996) was United States Secretary of Labor under Presidents Nixon and Ford. He served between February 2, 1973 and March 15, 1975. Brennan had previously been the president of both the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and the Building and Construction Trades Council of New York, and returned to the former position after leaving the Ford administration. He was a strong opponent of affirmative action measures to increase the number of minority construction workers. Following the Hard Hat Riot of May 8, 1970, Brennan was wooed by the Nixon administration as a potential supporter in the 1972 presidential election. His work for Nixon in that election was crucial in increasing the vote for Nixon in New York and in the union movement.

Ray Marshall

Freddie Ray Marshall (born August 22, 1928) is the Professor Emeritus of the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Centennial Chair in Economics and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Marshall was born in 1928 in Oak Grove, Louisiana. His Ph.D. is from University of California, Berkeley in economics, under supervision of Walter Galenson. He has held several academic posts, but since 1962 has been at the University of Texas, with the exception of his term as United States Secretary of Labor as a member of Jimmy Carter's Administration. As Secretary of Labor, he expanded public service and job-training programs, as a part of Carter's economic stimulus program. Marshall was also one of the founders of the Economic Policy Institute in 1986.

SS William B. Wilson

SS William B. Wilson was a Liberty ship built in the United States during World War II. She was named after William B. Wilson, the first United States Secretary of Labor.

Saint Charles Cemetery

Saint Charles Cemetery is a Roman Catholic cemetery managed by the Diocese of Brooklyn in Farmingdale, New York. It is more formally known as St. Charles/Resurrection Cemeteries.

Among those interred here are:

Peter J. Brennan, United States Secretary of Labor

Jo Anna Riegle Scherrer, Educator and Musician

Walter C. "Walt" Brown, racecar driver

Vincent Gardenia, actor

Vitas Gerulaitis, pro tennis player

Glenn Hughes, singer

Maggie McNamara, actress

Ray Sharkey, actor

Eva Taylor, singer, actress

Clarence Williams, composer, musician

Patrick Rafferty, NYPD Detective

John Sombrotto, Singer, Musician

Ronald DeFeo, Sr., Father & Victim of Ronald DeFeo, Jr.

Louise DeFeo, Mother & Victim of Ronald DeFeo, Jr.

Dawn DeFeo, Sister & Victim of Ronald DeFeo, Jr.

Allison DeFeo, Sister & Victim of Ronald DeFeo, Jr.

Marc DeFeo, Brother & Victim of Ronald DeFeo, Jr.

John Matthew DeFeo, Brother & Victim of Ronald DeFeo, Jr.

Christiana Ley Parker, Equestrian

Cesare Bonventre, mobster

Anthony Trentacosta, mobster

Peter Steele, musician

Joseph Magliocco, mobster

Lawrence "Larry" Gallo, mobster

Johnny Roventini, dwarf actor

Frank Buckley Walker, talent agent

((Regina C Vente)),wife,mother,Friend,RN.

Tom Perez

Thomas Edward Perez (born October 7, 1961) is an American politician and attorney who is the Chair of the Democratic National Committee since February 2017. Perez was previously Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights (2009–2013) and United States Secretary of Labor (2013–2017).

Born in Buffalo, New York, Perez is a graduate of Brown University, Harvard Law School, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He clerked for Judge Zita Weinshienk in Colorado prior to serving as a federal civil rights prosecutor for the Department of Justice. He next worked for Senator Ted Kennedy and then served as the Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services in the final years of the Clinton administration.

Perez was then elected to the Montgomery County (Maryland) Council in 2002, serving as the council's president from 2005, until the end of his tenure in 2006. He attempted to run for the Democratic nomination for Attorney General of Maryland, but was disqualified for not having sufficient time as a member of the Maryland state bar. Perez was appointed by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley to serve as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation in January 2007, until his October 2009 confirmation by the United States Senate as Assistant Attorney General. In 2013, Perez was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the United States Secretary of Labor, replacing outgoing Secretary Hilda Solis.

After the 2016 elections, Perez announced his candidacy for Chair of the Democratic National Committee in the 2017 party election. After a tight race against Keith Ellison, Perez was elected Chairman on the second ballot and immediately appointed Ellison as deputy chair.

United States Department of Commerce and Labor

The United States Department of Commerce and Labor was a short-lived Cabinet department of the United States government, which was concerned with controlling the excesses of big business.

It was created on February 14, 1903, during the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt. Investigations were the province of its Bureau of Corporations. The department was renamed the Department of Commerce on March 4, 1913, and its bureaus and agencies specializing in labor were transferred to the new Department of Labor. In 1915, the Bureau of Corporations was spun off as an independent agency, the Federal Trade Commission

The United States Secretary of Commerce and Labor was the head of the department. The secretary was a member of the President's Cabinet. Corresponding with the division of the department in 1913, the Secretary of Commerce and Labor's position was divided into separate positions of United States Secretary of Commerce and United States Secretary of Labor.

In 2011, in response to federal budget-cutting efforts, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), sponsored S. 1116, a proposal to re-combine two departments as the "Department of Commerce and the Workforce". To date no action on this proposal has been taken beyond referral to committee.

William Usery Jr.

William Julian Usery Jr. ( US-ər-ee; December 21, 1923 – December 10, 2016) was a labor union activist and U.S. government political appointee who served as United States Secretary of Labor in the Ford administration.

Although Willie was his birth name, official sources often mistakenly called him "William." For much of his life, Usery was known as "W.J.," although most associates called him "Bill."

United States Secretaries of Labor
Secretaries of Commerce and Labor
Secretaries of Labor
Deputy Secretary of Labor

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