WHO WE ARE
We are a coalition of small businesses, freelancers, tipped workers, and franchisees working together to oppose Julie Su, President Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Labor.
Thousands of workers have already suffered thanks to Su’s anti-business agenda. First as Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and currently as the US Deputy Secretary of Labor, Su has sought to restrict, regulate, and eliminate worker independence at every opportunity. And when millions of out-of-work Californians during the pandemic needed Su to protect them, she failed miserably — instead overseeing nearly $40 billion in fraudulent payments, including payments sent to death row criminals and deceased individuals.
Here are just a few of the communities that Julie Su seeks to rob of their livelihood:
- Independent Contractors
- Small Business Owners
- Tipped Workers
Simply put, Julie Su is anti-worker. Her promotion to Secretary of Labor would eliminate job opportunities for millions of hard-working Americans.
THE CASE AGAINST SU
Julie Su Oversaw the Largest Instance of Taxpayer Fund Fraud in CA History
Under Su’s watch as Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, California suffered the most significant fraud on taxpayer funds in state history. When California’s Employment Development Department (EDD), overseen by Su, failed to address tens of thousands of pandemic-related unemployment claims, an emergency audit uncovered rampant fraud throughout the system. While hard-working Californians had struggled to pay for gas and groceries, criminals, including death row inmates, received millions of dollars in payments from the state.
In total, nearly $40 billion was stolen from taxpayers in the form of fraudulent unemployment payments. Su was named in the state audit for her failed leadership which led to this unprecedented failure.
Su’s Mistakes Mean Higher Taxes
EDD has not recovered from Su’s mismanagement and is currently facing an unemployment insurance (UI) fund deficit of a staggering $18 billion. Because of this insolvency, California businesses are forced to pick up the tab in the form of:
- Annual tax increases on a per-employee basis
- A payroll tax increase of $21 per employee, increasing each year to a maximum rate of $434 per employee if the fund remains insolvent
This “Su Tax” will further harm businesses working to rebuild post-pandemic and will be particularly damaging to small businesses and food service providers that require larger numbers of employees. As employers work to keep costs down, the per-employee tax increase will make it harder to hire, hurting workers the most.
As Labor Secretary, Su would oversee the nation’s unemployment insurance program, creating an opportunity for similarly abysmal results on a national scale.
Su is a Threat to Franchisees and Independent Contractors Nationwide
Thousands of workers have already suffered thanks to Su’s anti-business agenda. Su has been consistently hostile to small businesses throughout her career and has seized every opportunity to promote policies and legislation harmful to franchised businesses and independent contractors.
- Su championed California Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), which attempted to reclassify independent contractors as W-2 employees, essentially making it impossible for independent contractors to operate successfully in California. Although AB 5 was opposed by thousands of California’s independent contractors, Su went so far as to promise audits and investigations on impacted workers, saying that AB 5 “will be a model for the country.”
- Su was a vocal supporter of the FAST Act, which would give government appointees the authority to dictate conditions at independent and franchised restaurants across California. The Act threatens to rob California entrepreneurs of their autonomy over business decisions like wages, training requirements, and daily operations. Although the FAST Act was enormously opposed by over one million Californians, Su was an outspoken advocate, telling supporters of the Act "The Department of Labor stands with you. The Biden-Harris Administration stands with you."
Su Seeks to Eliminate the Tipped Minimum Wage
If confirmed as Secretary of Labor, Julie Su would seek to permanently eliminate the tip credit in favor of a mandated minimum wage. Su has gone so far as to imply that tipped work is a legacy of slavery and to claim that tip-based jobs force workers to accept an oppressive sub-minimum wage.
In truth, the tip credit, which allows workers to be paid a lower minimum wage as long as they are earning at least the full minimum wage when tips are included, is more profitable for workers. The tip credit allows owners to keep costs down, hire more employees, and moderate their prices. The elimination of this credit in favor of a mandatory raised minimum wage would force business owners to increase prices and lay off workers while discouraging consumers from eating out or tipping their servers.
- In 2022, Su campaigned with the activist group One Fair Wage as part of their opposition to the sub-minimum tipped wage. At the event, while standing in front of a banner comparing tipped work to slavery, Su suggested that tipped workers risk being abused by customers.
Julie Su is dedicated to eliminating the tip credit even in the face of opposition by those it would most heavily impact: Tipped employees are overwhelmingly opposed to eliminating the tip credit and have organized campaigns in states such as Maine and New York to protect it.
Su Has Radical Views on Border Security
Su has a long history of opposing the enforcement of immigration law, which she argues “no one benefits” from.
- In 2000, Su authored a book chapter blasting U.S. immigration law, claiming its enforcement has no impact on illegal immigration and instead “criminalizes immigrant workers." Su also claims that immigrant workers are slaves who work in “economic servitude." Additionally, she writes “By attacking [undocumented workers] for their immigration status, the U.S. government ensures that they remain beyond legal protections and justifies their exploitation.”
- Su has actively worked to prevent the enforcement of immigration law in the workplace, going so far as to speak out against the enforcement efforts of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS):
“The INS war against immigrant workers creates a wholly exploited and exploitable workforce that serves the interests of corporate profit. While people have been defined as undocumented and therefore ‘illegal,’ capital has escaped such characterization.” - Julie Su
Su Views American Business as the Enemy
Throughout her career Su has been a fiery critic of capitalism, which she believes is a system rooted in exploitation and racism. Her hatred of capitalism is evident in her anti-business rhetoric and record:
- Opposed to the free market, Su believes that the government should increase regulations and restrictions on businesses and maintains that “government inaction really means government sanction and support for unfettered and corporate greed.”
- As California Labor Commissioner, Su created the Criminal Investigation Unit, an armed labor police force tasked with targeting employers. Su bragged about the unit’s mission to arrest and detain business owners, saying: “When we first implemented the unit, newspaper headlines warned of armed Labor Commissioner deputies coming to get employers in California and arrest them for crimes. And, well, we are!”
- Su wants companies to be liable for the work conditions of their contractors, including being held liable for wage violations. She even went so far as to compare retailers’ relationships with contractors to Jim Crow Laws and “Separate But Equal”:
“Just as it is often too narrow to evaluate desegregation cases without the context and history of ‘separate but equal,’ or discrimination cases without attention to systemic racial and gender inequality, an examination of one retailer’s relationship with its subcontractors devoid of an understanding of how the industry as a whole is designed to exert downward pressure on prices and working conditions misses some of the most profound ways in which corporations are responsible for sweatshops.” - Julie Su
- Instead of recognizing the economic and social benefits that businesses bring to their communities, Su believes that certain companies are a detriment and should be held liable for the “collective community harm” imposed by their presence. In 2005, Su even called on U.S. courts to view some businesses as a “public nuisance” that have a “detrimental effect on the overall health of the community."
An Anti-Labor Labor Secretary?
Julie Su is many things:
✅ Radical on Border Security
✅ An enemy of employers and business owners
✅ A threat to entrepreneurs, independent contractors, and tipped workers
✅ Deaf to the voices of millions of hard-working Americans fighting for economic freedom
One thing Julie Su can NEVER be?
❌Secretary of Labor