Labor Solicitor Likely to Leave Regardless of Election Result

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By Ben Penn

Oct. 18 — Labor Solicitor Patricia Smith is expected to vacate her post even if the next administration remains in Democratic hands, sources told Bloomberg BNA.

Smith, the Labor Department’s top legal adviser since 2010, recently said she will leave before the next president takes office, Ross Eisenbrey, vice president at the Economic Policy Institute, told Bloomberg BNA Oct. 17.

A Democratic staffer for the House Education and the Workforce Committee confirmed to Bloomberg BNA Oct. 18 that Smith is expected to depart.

“She doesn’t know what she’s going to do, but she doesn’t want to be solicitor of labor anymore, which is too bad,” said Eisenbrey, describing a recent conversation he had with Smith. “Nobody knows the ropes any better.”

The labor solicitor guided the agency through a handful of significant regulations that faced legal challenges, including lawsuits to block the DOL’s persuader, overtime and fiduciary rules that are all still pending.

Smith would join many other top agency personnel expected to exit before the next president assumes office, regardless of the election outcome.

If Hillary Clinton is elected president Nov. 8, she will opt to appoint her own personnel in many key agency positions, but certain political appointees from the Obama regime may be asked to stay on.

The Clinton and Donald Trump transition teams are in the process of communicating with public interest groups about policy preferences and recommended cabinet leaders.

A DOL spokesman wasn't immediately available to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Penn in Washington at bpenn@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at maulino@bna.com; Terence Hyland at thyland@bna.com

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