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29 U.S. Code § 551 - Establishment of Department; Secretary; seal

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There shall be an executive department in the Government to be called the Department of Labor, with a Secretary of Labor, who shall be the head thereof, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and whose tenure of office shall be like that of the heads of the other executive departments. The provisions of title 4 of the Revised Statutes, including all amendments thereto, shall be applicable to said department. The purpose of the Department of Labor shall be to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners of the United States, to improve their working conditions, and to advance their opportunities for profitable employment. The said Secretary shall cause a seal of office to be made for the said department of such device as the President shall approve and judicial notice shall be taken of the said seal.

(Mar. 4, 1913, ch. 141, § 1, 37 Stat. 736; Mar. 4, 1925, ch. 549, § 4, 43 Stat. 1301.)
Editorial Notes
References in Text

Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, referred to in text, was entitled “Provisions Applicable to All Executive Departments”, and consisted of R.S. §§ 158 to 198. For provisions of the Code derived from such title 4, see sections 101, 301, 303, 304, 503, 2952, 3101, 3106, 3341, 3345 to 3349, 5535, 5536 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees; section 207 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure; sections 514, 520 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure; section 3321 of Title 31, Money and Finance.


Section was formerly classified to section 611 of Title 5 prior to the general revision and enactment of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, by Pub. L. 89–554, § 1, Sept. 1, 1966, 80 Stat. 378.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Short Title of 1986 Amendment

Pub. L. 99–619, § 1, Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 3491, provided that:

“This Act [amending sections 552 and 553 of this title and sections 5313 to 5316 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, repealing section 3 of Reorganization Plan No. 6 of 1950, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 552 and 553 of this title and section 5316 of Title 5] may be cited as the ‘Department of Labor Executive Level Conforming Amendments of 1986’.”
History of Department

A Department of Labor under the charge of a Commissioner of Labor was first established by act June 13, 1888, ch. 389, 25 Stat. 182. That Department was placed under the jurisdiction and made a part of a new department, called the Department of Commerce and Labor, by act Feb. 14, 1903, ch. 552, § 4, 32 Stat. 827. The name Department of Labor was changed to Bureau of Labor by act Mar. 18, 1904, ch. 716, 33 Stat. 136. The present Department of Labor was created by act Mar. 4, 1913. The Bureau of Labor in the Department of Commerce and Labor was transferred to the present Department of Labor by said act.

Compensation of Secretary

Compensation of Secretary, see section 5312 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Executive Documents
Transfer of Functions

For transfer of functions of other officers, employees, and agencies of Department of Labor, with certain exceptions, to Secretary of Labor, with power to delegate, see Reorg. Plan No. 6, of 1950, §§ 1, 2, 15 F.R. 3174, 64 Stat. 1263, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Emergency Preparedness Functions

For assignment of certain emergency preparedness functions to Secretary of Labor, see Parts 1, 2, and 12 of Ex. Ord. No. 12656, Nov. 18, 1988, 53 F.R. 47491, set out as a note under section 5195 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.

Order of Succession

For order of succession during any period when both Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Labor are unable to perform functions and duties of office of Secretary, see Ex. Ord. No. 13245, Dec. 18, 2001, 66 F.R. 66268, listed in a table under section 3345 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Ex. Ord. No. 13578. Coordinating Policies on Automotive Communities and Workers

Ex. Ord. No. 13578, July 6, 2011, 76 F.R. 40591, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. Over the last decade, the United States has experienced a decline in employment in the automotive industry and among part suppliers. This decline accelerated dramatically from 2008 to 2009, with more than 400,000 jobs being lost in the industry. Now, 2 years later, the American automotive industry is beginning to recover. The automotive industry has, over the past 2 years, experienced its strongest period of job growth since the late 1990s. Exports have expanded, and the domestic automakers in 2010 gained market share for the first time since 1995. The automotive supply chain, which employs three times as many workers as the automakers, has also shown renewed strength. However, we still have a long way to go.

Over the past 2 years my Administration has undertaken coordinated efforts on behalf of automotive communities, including targeted technical and financial assistance. For example, the Department of Labor set aside funds for green jobs and job training for high-growth sectors of the economy specifically targeted to communities affected by the automotive downturn, and the Department of Commerce provided funds specifically for automotive communities to develop plans for economic recovery. Stabilizing the automotive industry will also require the use of expanded strategies by automotive communities that include land-use redevelopment, small business support, and worker training.

The purpose of this order is to continue the coordinated Federal response to factors affecting automotive communities and workers and to ensure that Federal programs and policies address these concerns.

Sec. 2. Assignment of Responsibilities to the Secretary of Labor.

(a) The Secretary of Labor shall:

(i) work to coordinate the development of policies and programs among executive departments and agencies with the goal of coordinating a Federal response to factors that have a distinct impact on automotive communities and workers, including through the coordination of economic adjustment assistance activities;

(ii) advise the President, in coordination with the Director of the National Economic Council, on the potential effects of pending legislation;

(iii) provide recommendations to the President, in coordination with the Director of the National Economic Council, on executive branch policy proposals affecting automotive communities and changes to Federal policies and programs intended to address issues of special importance to automotive communities and workers; and

(iv) conduct outreach to representatives of nonprofit organizations, businesses, labor organizations, State and local government agencies, elected officials, and other interested persons that will assist in bringing to the President’s attention concerns, ideas, and policy options for expanding and improving efforts to revitalize automotive communities.

(b) The Secretary of Labor shall perform the functions assigned by this order in coordination with the Director of the National Economic Council. The Secretary of Labor may delegate these responsibilities to the Executive Director of the Department of Labor Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers.

Sec. 3. Revocation. Executive Order 13509 of June 23, 2009, is hereby revoked.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) The heads of executive departments and agencies shall assist and provide information to the Secretary of Labor or the Secretary’s designee, consistent with applicable law, as may be necessary to carry out the responsibilities assigned by this order.

(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(c) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Barack Obama.