U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis announced her resignation in a letter to Department of Labor (DOL) employees on January 9, 2013. Just 12 days before the ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama for a second term and less than two weeks following the resignation of another female top cabinet member, Solis’ resignation leaves much speculation as to how the President will choose to restock his cabinet. Although Solis did not suggest a departure date in her letter, many expect her to step down sometime around the inauguration.
Solis offered no specific reason for her departure, but stated that she has “decided to begin a new future.” After spending the holidays with family in California, Solis says she plans “to return to the people and places I love and that have inspired and shaped my life.”
Solis was an important pick for President Obama’s first term cabinet. The first Latina to hold a top cabinet post and the daughter of a union steward, Solis has been called by President Obama, “a tireless champion for working families.”
This shakeup at the DOL heightens speculation about what the future may hold for another female from California, OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu. For now, the President has several cabinet seats to fill.
Cristina C. Pérez is Of Counsel in the San Francisco office of Ogletree Deakins.