Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC office, was quoted in the Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report, in “Trump’s Labor Chief Pick Scalia No Stranger to the Job,” by Ben Penn and Hassan A. Kanu. (Read the full version – subscription required.)
Following is an excerpt:
President Donald Trump’s choice for labor secretary bears an instantly familiar surname to the general public. For labor and employment practitioners, Eugene Scalia is a household name for reasons unrelated to his father, former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Eugene Scalia, a former Labor Department solicitor, has been a fixture in labor policy circles thanks to his extensive private practice background litigating the same workplace issues that would be under his purview as secretary. That includes representing businesses in lawsuits challenging a few high-priority Obama-era Labor Department rules on conflicts of interest for retirement advisers and employee tip pooling. …
Former DOL officials who served with Scalia and have seen him rise to become a go-to attorney for corporations and trade groups say he respects the agency’s mission.
“Gene is not going to the Department of Labor to turn the lights off and close down the department,” said Paul DeCamp, a former DOL official in the George W. Bush administration who worked with Scalia at Gibson Dunn. …
Scalia is considered by some to be one of the nation’s most elite litigators, not just on labor but also on administrative law. His arrival as labor secretary would be a boon for a Trump administration hoping that its workplace law deregulation stands the test of time.
“Gene is very bright, very imaginative, and he has an enormous amount of familiarity with not only the substantive laws that the department enforces, but also the internal workings of the department—what the agencies are, how they go about doing what they do, and how the building ticks,” said DeCamp, who now represents businesses at Epstein Becker Green in Washington. “Because of that he will be able to hit the ground running and very quickly assess what is possible between now and January 2021, or January 2025 for that matter.” …
Depending on when he were to be confirmed, Scalia would enter the DOL with the potentially short time frame to drive an agenda of his own, unless Trump is re-elected. But even as a one-year labor secretary, Scalia would be positioned to drive an agenda of his own besides completing Acosta’s regulatory and policy initiatives.
The agency already has a robust regulatory agenda, meaning Scalia would need to quickly decide whether it’s worth his time to prioritize new rulemakings in the limited guaranteed time remaining that he would want to “go soup to nuts on,” DeCamp said.