President Barack Obama on Monday nominated Tom Perez, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, as the next Secretary of Labor, replacing Hilda Solis, who announced her resignation in early January.
In comments from the White House, Obama said that Perez “as a civil rights attorney, an aide to Sen. Ted Kennedy, a member of the Montgomery, Maryland County Council, Tom fought for a level playing field where hard work and responsibility are rewarded and working families can get ahead.”
Obama also noted that this is not the first time that Perez has been chosen to be a labor secretary, as Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland appointed Perez to that post in his state, “where he helped implement the country’s first statewide living-wage law, because he understood that a minimum wage should be a wage that you can live on.”
In his current role as the head of the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Perez, Obama said, “has fought to open pathways into the work force for everyone willing to contribute, including people with disabilities, LGBT Americans and immigrants. And he has helped settle some of the largest cases ever on behalf of families targeted by unfair mortgage lending.”