US President Donald Trump’s nominee for labour secretary has said a housekeeper he had previously employed at his home was an undocumented worker.
Andrew Puzder said in a statement that he and his wife employed a housekeeper for a few years and they were unaware she was not legally permitted to work in the US.
“When I learned of her status, we immediately ended her employment and offered her assistance in getting legal status,” Mr Puzder said.
“We have fully paid back taxes to the IRS and the State of California.”
Mr Puzder, a fast food chain executive, is one of several cabinet picks by Mr Trump who have yet to be confirmed and this latest revelation could potentially throw his efforts off course.
Democrats and their allies have already been rushing to exploit Mr Puzder’s record opposing a big increase in the minimum wage, overtime rules and more as they question how well he would advocate for American workers.
Mr Puzder outsourced his fast food company’s technology department to the Philippines, a move that contradicts Mr Trump’s vow to keep American jobs in the US.
A filing with the labour department on Mr Puzder’s company – and a spokesman’s acknowledgement that CKE continues to use the IT operation in the Philippines – provides a window into a key contradiction raised by the nomination.
Mr Trump has criticised, threatened and tried to charm American companies that have moved jobs overseas or are considering it, saying he is sticking up for American workers who are not feeling the economic recovery and form his political base.