Julie Su Faces Senate Fight as Labor Dept. Nominee

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The world of politics has been abuzz since President Biden nominated Julie Su to fill the position of Deputy Labor Secretary. Su’s credentials as California’s Labor Secretary, directing one of the largest departments in the state, rendered her an impeccable pick for the Labor Department. However, following her nomination, Su’s appointment faced opposition from a few conservative senators.

The opposition, led by Republican Senator Mike Lee, is ostensibly scrutinizing Su’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on employment in California, the state she administered. The Utah senator argues that Su did not undertake measures to protect workers’ unemployment benefits from fraudsters drawing funds away from deserving recipients. However, Su has repeatedly denied these allegations, citing that California’s labor department was among the state agencies nationwide that least encountered fraud amid the pandemic-induced unemployment surges.

Amid this accusation and persistent outcry from Republican senators regarding her nomination, a hearing was held on April 14 by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, further straining her nomination. The hearing was premised on airing the perspectives of supervising bodies in Su’s previous office and an examination of her credentials. Although Republican senators grilled her hoping for negative exposure, David Rolf, a former member of the Seattle mayor’s Labor Standards Advisory Commission, quelled their queries by extolling Su’s exceptional track record in California.

The hearing, however, made clear Republican senators’ misplaced objection towards Su’s appointment. They vehemently fixated on California Unemployment Insurance’s relatively low anti-fraud success rate and questioned her oversight capacities, despite Su’s assurance that significant fraud cases had been prevented. Nonetheless, it appears that such scrutiny is a thinly veiled attempt to oppose Su’s nomination for political reasons, notably the grandstanding of some senators without justifiable cause.

Julie Su’s Nomination

Julie Su’s appointment presents an opportunity to resolve challenges experienced during the pandemic. With her appointment, the Biden administration aims to rectify the labor department’s difficulties, improve working conditions and employment opportunities, and strengthen the nation’s workforce. With her vast experience in labor rights and relatable work across various fields, Su is a qualified and competent nominee for the role of Deputy Labor Secretary to tackle America’s labor needs.

Her nomination also recognizes and applauds her dedicated fight against worker exploitation as CAL’s Labor Secretary. She was recognized as a driving force in the State’s efforts to combat wage theft, worker exploitation, and discrimination, and her leadership during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic secured indispensable help for millions of unemployed people.

Julie’s Career and Legacy

Julie Su is of Chinese descent and grew up in a Filipino-Chinese family in Michigan. She graduated from Stanford University in 1992 and later earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. She practiced law at the National Employment Law Project legal organization before moving on to become an attorney in the youth unit of Legal Services of Northern California. Julie Su was nominated for her many achievements as California’s labor secretary from 2019 to 2021, preventing wage theft amounting to around $101 million, matters involving 23,000 workers.

Su’s appointment is timely, with the pandemic sparking unprecedented job cuts, recession and unemployment rates. Her extensive background in labor rights and advocacy will assist in ensuring smooth recovery from the existing economic situation. Her approach to addressing critical labor issues will have a significant impact on improving employee working environments, diminishing unfair treatment and enhancing productivity.


In conclusion, Julie Su is a formidable nominee for the role of Deputy Labor Secretary. Her vast experience, time-tested leadership qualities, expertise, and demonstrated dedication to labor rights make her fit for the job. Despite Republican senators’ unmerited opposition and allegations, Su’s exemplary performance and advocacy for the welfare of the workforce have earned her respect in the labor movement. This move will enable the Labor Department to effectuate its purpose of ensuring equitable conditions and fair employment for all American citizens. She will help to rebuild and revitalize America, thereby cementing her place in the history of U.S. labor.