Chief Judge Igasaki Finishes Term at Dept. of Labor

Paul Igasaki was appointed head of the Department of Labor’s Administrative review Board by President Barack Obama.

WASHINGTON — Paul Igasaki, chair of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board, completed his fourth term as chief judge of this body on Jan. 31.

He began his tenure as head of the DOL’s administrative appeals body on Feb. 1, 2010, appointed by Secretary Hilda Solis and President Barack Obama, and was reappointed by Secretary Tom Perez.

Igasaki was the first Asian American to serve as an ARB judge or chair. The five-member judicial review court reviews decisions by administrative law judges and certain DOL administrators under more than 60 different statutes covering whistleblower, wage and hour, immigration, equal employment opportunity and other matters.

Igasaki named Judge Joanne Royce as acting chair until Secretary Alexander Acosta names a successor.

Under Igasaki’s leadership, the rights of workers protected by whistleblower laws were developed to better protect those qualifying under the law. Workers were protected from retaliation for reporting safety concerns in trucking, aviation, radiation and railroad occupations, among others. Workers were also protected for reporting securities fraud.

During Igasaki’s terms as chair, the number of laws appealed to the ARB increased steadily. Foreign workers authorized by law are to be paid the same as resident workers and otherwise in compliance with immigration law.