Alabama Commissioner of Labor
|Alabama Commissioner of Labor|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2013 FY Budget:||$1,555,641|
|Length of term:||Serves at the pleasure of the governor|
|Authority:||Alabama Code, Section 25-3-2|
|Selection Method:||Appointed by Governor|
|Assumed office:||October 2012|
|Other Alabama Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Superintendent of Education • Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner • Natural Resources Commissioner • Labor Commissioner • Public Service Commission|
The current officeholder is Tom Surtees. Surtees was the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director, and became Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Labor on October 1, 2012 when a merger took place, eliminating the position formerly held by Jim Bennett. Bennett was originally appointed in 2003 by Governor Bob Riley and kept on by current Governor Robert Bentley.
The office of labor commissioner is authorized by statute, not the state's constitution. Section 25-3-2 of the Code of Alabama states that the commissioner is "responsible ... for the administration of the Department of Labor."
Code of Alabama, Section 25-3-2
|The Department of Labor shall be headed by, and shall be under the direction, supervision and control of an officer who shall be known and designated as the Commissioner of Labor.|
Alabama law does not provide any specific requirements for holding office, other than that the incumbent must deposit a bond with the state "conditioned upon a faithful discharge of his duties" and that he must devote full time to his official duties. The commissioner also may not hold any other political office or any private sector position that would conflict with his official duties.
Code of Alabama, Section 25-3-2
|Before entering upon the discharge of his duties the commissioner shall take the constitutional oath of office as provided for under the Constitution and shall execute bond in such penalty as may be prescribed by the Governor, conditioned upon a faithful discharge of his duties and payable to the State of Alabama. The commissioner shall devote full time to his official duties and shall not hold another office under the government of the United States, or under any other state, or of this state or any political subdivision thereof during his incumbency in such office, and shall not hold any position of trust or profit, or engage in any occupation or business the conduct of which shall interfere or be inconsistent with his duties as Director of Labor.|
The commissioner is appointed by the governor and serves at his pleasure.
There are no particular term limits specified for the commissioner.
Vacancies are filled "in the same manner as original appointments are made," i.e. by the governor.
The commissioner helps resolve labor disputes, enforces state labor laws, and promotes cooperation between labor and business leaders. He also coordinates with federal officials from the U.S. Department of Labor.
According to its official website, the Department of Labor "provides mediation services, conducts union representation elections and files annual reports on unions with more than 25 members. Additionally, it publishes job related illness, injury and fatality reports through a series of federal surveys." It also enforces child labor laws and performs safety inspections of boilers, elevators, pressure vessels and escalators. The commissioner oversees all of these activities in his role as head of the department.
In some respects the duties of the Department of Labor overlap with those of the Department of Industrial Relations. The latter, for instance, is responsible for policy pertaining to job injuries.
The commissioner has a particular mandate to avoid "strikes, lockouts, boycotts, blacklists and discriminations" by facilitating the peaceful resolution of labor disputes. Like most Alabama state executives, he is required to make an annual report to the governor on his department's activities and keep a permanent record of his official acts.
- Child Labor Enforcement
- Non-Payment of Wages
- Fatality Reports
The budget for the Division of Labor in Fiscal Year 2012-2013 was $1,555,641.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
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RSA Union, 6th Floor
PO Box 303500
Montgomery, AL 36130
Phone: (334) 242-3460
- Alabama Department of Labor, "Mission Statement," accessed May 31, 2011.
- Associated Press, "AP interview: Bennett's 50 years around government," September 30, 2012
- Alabama Department of Labor, "Alabama Department of Industrial Relations merger with the Alabama Department of Labor," September 24, 2012
- Code of Alabama, "Section 25-3-2," accessed May 31, 2011.
- Alabama Government Website "State of Alabama General Fund, 2013 FY Appropriations," Accessed March 18, 2013