Confirm Julie Su to be U.S. Secretary of Labor

View a PDF of this letter here.

May 25, 2023

Support the Confirmation of Julie Su to be U.S. Secretary of Labor

Dear Senator:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 230 national organizations committed to promoting and protecting the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States, and the 129 undersigned national organizations, we write to express our strong support for the confirmation of Julie Su to serve as the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor. Su, who was confirmed in 2021 as deputy secretary and who is currently serving as acting secretary of the department, is an exemplary leader whose career in public service, professional experience as a civil rights lawyer, and lived experience as an Asian American woman make her exceptionally qualified for the role. There is no one more prepared to move into this role and lead the department as it undertakes its critical mission to protect working people. We urge the Senate to move swiftly upon its return from recess to end debate and confirm the nomination.

Su has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to ensuring that all working people are treated with dignity and are able to enjoy basic protections in the workplace, and her career has reflected a deep understanding of how equity, justice, and economic security are linked — especially for communities of color, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, and other groups who have borne the historic and ongoing burden of systemic discrimination. The inequalities in the labor market long experienced by these communities were exacerbated by the economic crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic. The work of the Department of Labor is critical to supporting working people in the aftermath of that crisis and to addressing these historic inequities and building an inclusive economy that works for all.

Su possesses deep expertise in civil rights and workplace rights and is exceedingly qualified to serve as secretary of labor. As the deputy secretary of labor, Su worked side-by-side with former Secretary Marty Walsh to advance the vision of a strong, resilient, and inclusive economy with worker well-being at its center. Su has played a leading role in the development of President Biden’s Good Jobs Initiative, which has helped to improve job standards in government contracting and grant making and ensuring that the opportunities presented by once-in-a-generation infrastructure investments are broadly shared. Under Su’s leadership as deputy secretary, the department has acted to raise wages and improve conditions for workers by raising the minimum wage for federal contractors, strengthening protections for tipped workers, and proposing that more workers be protected as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act — actions that expand opportunity for all while advancing equity for groups disproportionately employed in those sectors. And Su has been essential to the department’s efforts to support unions and workers’ right to organize. Unions and union membership lower inequality, raise wages for all workers, and reduce race and gender economic disparities.

As the labor secretary for the state of California, Su was responsible for thousands of employees and charged with protecting and improving the well-being of the country’s largest civilian workforce. Su oversaw the state departments and boards that enforce labor laws and administer benefits, including workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, and paid family leave. Faced with the unprecedented challenges posed by the onset of the pandemic, she worked with business leaders, labor, community-based organizations, philanthropists, and the tech community in California to design a High Road Recovery. She also worked to advance race and gender equity and close pay disparities, co-leading the California Pay Equity Task Force to help ensure robust implementation of the state’s gender pay equity law. And while serving as California labor commissioner, Su significantly increased enforcement of wage theft laws, helping low-wage workers make ends meet and ensuring fair and just workplaces for workers and employers alike.

Su has had an extensive career promoting human rights and protecting vulnerable people from exploitation and abuse. Before entering government service, she worked for 17 years as a civil rights lawyer. As litigation director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California (formerly known as Asian Pacific American Legal Center), Su led landmark litigation to protect the rights of immigrant workers who were victims of trafficking, receiving the prestigious MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant for her work. Deputy Secretary Su’s nomination is also a critical step toward increasing Asian American representation in President Biden’s Cabinet. If confirmed, Su would be the only Asian American Cabinet secretary in the administration. Su’s lived experience as a woman of color and the daughter of immigrants has already brought important perspective to the Department of Labor’s leadership, and her presence in the Cabinet would strengthen the administration writ large.

Julie Su is a tested and experienced leader who has been committed to implementing and strengthening workplace protections and improving economic opportunities for all. Under Su’s leadership, the Department of Labor will continue to build a stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive economy. We urge you to promptly end debate and confirm this nomination to ensure that the department can deliver on its mission of promoting the welfare of working people, improving working conditions, advancing opportunities, and protecting and enforcing workplace rights.

If you have any questions, please contact Josh Boxerman, senior policy analyst at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, at [email protected].


The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
A Better Balance
Act to Change
American Association of University Women
American Baptist Home Mission Societies
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
American Federation of Teachers
American Humanist Association
American Postal Workers Union
Americans for Financial Reform
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC
Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote)
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Association for People Supporting Employment First (APSE)
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
Bayard Rustin Liberation Initiative
Building Back Together
Care in Action
Center for Asian American Media
Center for Disability Rights
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Center for Popular Democracy
Center for WorkLife Law
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Civic Ventures
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
Climate Hawks Vote
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
Coalition of Labor Union Women
Coalition on Human Needs
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
Community Change Action
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Daily Kos
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Disability Rights Advocates
Disciples Center for Public Witness (Disciples of Christ)
Economic Policy Institute
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Empowering Pacific Islander Communities
Equal Justice Society
Equal Rights Advocates
Equality Federation
Family Values @ Work
Feminist Majority Foundation
Fight Corporate Monopolies
Futures Without Violence
Hmong National Development, Inc.
Human Rights Campaign
ICNA Council for Social Justice (ICNA CSJ)
Impact Fund
IN4WS – Inter-religious Network for Worker Solidarity
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Japanese American Citizens League
Jewish Labor Committee
Jobs With Justice
Justice for Migrant Women
Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor & the Working Poor, Georgetown University
Laotian American National Alliance
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
League of Conservation Voters
League of United Latin American Citizens
Legal Aid at Work
Main Street Alliance
MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund)
Matthew Shepard Foundation
Mercy Housing
Movement Advancement Project
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NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity
National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
National Asian Pacific Center on Aging
National Black Justice Coalition
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National Center for Law and Economic Justice
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP)
National Consumers League
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
National Council of Jewish Women
National Crittenton
National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
National Domestic Workers Alliance
National Education Association
National Employment Law Project
National Employment Lawyers Association
National Immigration Law Center
National Japanese American Memorial Foundation (NJAMF)
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQ
National Skills Coalition
National Taskforce on Tradeswomen Issues
National Urban League
NCTE Action Fund
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates
Our Revolution
Paid Leave for All
People For the American Way
People’s Parity Project
Pride at Work
Progressive Change Institute
Public Citizen
Public Justice
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Revolving Door Project
ROC United
Safer Foundation
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Sierra Club
Student Borrower Protection Center
Take on Wall Street
The Advocates for Human Rights
The South Asian Public Health Association
The Workers Circle
Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community
Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice
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