Commemoration of Equal Pay Day - April 28, 2011
Ms. Leppink was appointed the Acting Wage and Hour Administrator in January 2011. She first joined the U.S. Department of Labor as Deputy Administrator for the division in September 2009. Prior to being appointed the Deputy Administrator, Ms. Leppink worked for 24 years for the State of Minnesota. She began her career in public service with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office as an Assistant Attorney General in the Human Right Division and later in the Labor Law Division under Attorney General Hubert H. Humphrey, III. As an Assistant Attorney General, Ms. Leppink represented the Minnesota Department Human Rights and the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.
After fourteen years with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, Ms. Leppink became the General Counsel and Director of Legal Services for the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Ms. Leppink has significant enforcement, litigation, legislative, and regulatory experience in the areas of labor standards, occupational safety and health, apprenticeship, workers’ compensation, civil rights, and construction codes and licensing.
During her tenure with the State of Minnesota, Ms. Leppink prosecuted a precedent setting case under the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Act, which established a pregnant woman’s right to refuse to perform work which she reasonably believed would be harmful to her health and safety. She successfully defended the apprenticeship provisions of the state’s prevailing wage statute against an ERISA preemption challenge. She also authored and played a key role in obtaining passage of legislation that significantly enhanced the remedies that the state and private litigants could seek for violations of the state’s labor standards laws and legislation that addressed the misclassification of workers as independent contractors.
Ms. Leppink received her law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School, where she was a member of the Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.