Puzder’s Statement on Housekeeper Raises More Questions Than It Answers

Following is a statement from NELP Executive Director Christine Owens regarding labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder’s explanation of his employment of a housekeeper for whom he neglected to pay required taxes: 

“Andrew Puzder’s statement that he was ‘unaware’ of his housekeeper’s immigration status and that he ‘fully paid back taxes’ after he found out makes no sense, and raises more questions than it answers.

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“Whether she was documented or undocumented, Mr. Puzder had a legal obligation to pay payroll and other employer taxes.  Her immigration status makes no difference.

“Individuals only pay ‘back taxes’ when they’ve failed to pay them in the first place.

“Did Mr. Puzder, an employer and a seasoned lawyer, not know he had to pay taxes?

“How long was he ‘unaware’ of her status, and when did he finally become aware?

“How long did he employ her, and until when?

“By his own admission, Mr. Puzder was employing her off the books—which he surely knew was illegal.  Why would he keep her off the books unless he thought he could get away with it?  And why would he think he could get away with it unless he knew she was undocumented?

“Mr. Puzder’s attempted explanation strains credulity.

“How can anyone—especially members of the U.S. Senate—still think he is qualified to lead the Labor Department?”

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