Justice official to be nominated to top Labor slot

Justice official to be nominated to top Labor slot

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 18, 2013 03:15 hrs

The White House says President Barack Obama on Monday will nominate Justice Department official Thomas Perez to head the Labor Department.

Perez, 51, has been an assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division since 2009 and would be the first Hispanic chosen for Obama's second-term Cabinet.

If confirmed he would take over the Labor Department as Obama presses worker-related initiatives such as an overhaul of immigration laws and a higher minimum wage. The previous Labor secretary, Hilda Solis, resigned in January to return to her native California.

Perez, whose nomination has been expected for weeks, has strong support from Latino and labor groups. He could face opposition from Republicans who say the Civil Rights Division is too politicized.

He previously served as Maryland's labor secretary.

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