Puzder Protesters
Local fast food workers take part in nationwide protests to denounce President-elect Donald Trump's nomination of Andy Puzder, a restaurant mogul who owns Carl's Jr. and other chains, as U.S. Secretary of Labor outside a Carl's Jr. restaurant in Los Angeles, Jan. 12, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

A confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump’s Labor secretary pick, Andy Puzder, was was postponed this week a fourth time. The hearing was originally scheduled for Jan. 12, then Jan. 17, Feb. 2 and Feb. 7, and the new date hasn’t yet been set.

The reason for the delay: Puzder is having trouble meeting his ethics requirements, his spokesman George Thompson said Wednesday. Puzder is the CEO of fast food empire CKE Restaurants, Inc., which owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. He’s now attempting to divulge his assets in the company, and CKE has said that he would step down as CEO if confirmed.

Puzder has been working on his ethics paperwork for the past three weeks. But he’s run into complications divesting his assets because CKE is a privately-held company, Thompson said. Cabinet nominees must submit this paperwork at least five days before a hearing, according to Senate rules. This rule hasn’t always been followed, however, as was the case with education nominee Betsy DeVos.

Still, Puzder’s entanglements in his company aren’t the only reason Democrats are opposing his nomination. Puzder has criticized minimum wage increases, and he's expressed interest in expanding automation in his restaurants — that is, machines replacing human labor. On Tuesday, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) released a report chronicling complaints from CKE workers struggling to make ends meet. Employees said they were encouraged to work through breaks and work overtime without being appropriately paid. Opposition to Puzder isn't limited to Capitol Hill; protesters have taken to the streets against the nomination.

Despite these criticisms and Puzder’s lack of experience in public office, Trump contends that the fast food CEO will create jobs for American businesses.

"Andy will fight to make American workers safer and more prosperous by enforcing fair occupational safety standards and ensuring workers receive the benefits they deserve, and he will save small businesses from the crushing burdens of unnecessary regulations that are stunting job growth and suppressing wages," Trump said in a statement when he nominated Puzder in December.