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January 4, 2019

Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov Peggy Flanagan announce Nancy Leppink as the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

“Nancy understands that Minnesota’s prosperity depends on a workforce that is prepared through lifelong education and training for the future of work,” said Walz. “We are thrilled she will be moving back to her home of Minnesota to help us work toward innovative and forward-thinking solutions.”
“We are excited that Nancy will bring decades of national and international experience to our Administration as the next Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry,” said Flanagan. “Nancy understands the complexities of our workforce and economy, and will work across lines of difference to help us build a Minnesota that works for all.”
“For all Minnesotans to share in the prosperity of the state’s vibrant and diverse economy, together we must ensure that economy is built on the foundations of decent work: work that pays a fair wage, work that is safe and supports health, and provision of needed social protections and a pathway back to work when work injuries and illnesses happen,” said Leppink. “I look forward to working again with the committed staff the Department of Labor and Industry and all Minnesotans in finding forward-leaning solutions to meet these challenges.”
“Wage theft and employee misclassification continues to harm workers, especially those from low-income communities and communities of color. These persistent problems require a world-class leader with proven experience and the track record to effectively address them,” said Tim Mackey, President and Business Manager of LiUNA Minnesota and North Dakota. “The incoming Commissioner Ms. Nancy Leppink’s resume clearly demonstrates that she has been such a leader nationally and internationally, and we are excited to work with her to protect Minnesota workers.”
Nancy Leppink will start as Commissioner on March 4, 2019. Deputy Commissioner Christopher Leifeld will serve as Acting Commissioner until then.

About Nancy Leppink

Born in Two Harbors, Nancy Leppink, 60, has worked to protect the rights of workers since 1985. Nancy began her career as an Assistant Attorney General with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, and later as Chief General Counsel for Department of Labor and Industry. After 24 years in state service, she was appointed by the Obama Administration to be the Deputy Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor and led the Division as its Acting Administrator. During her tenure, she reimagined the Wage and Hour Division as an innovative and proactive enforcement agency, rebuilding its capacity, re-engineering its compliance strategies, and refocusing its resources on protecting low wage workers and creating a level playing field for businesses seeking to create decent jobs. Nancy currently serves as a branch chief for the International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and is responsible for their international work assisting the governments and the employer and worker organizations of its 187-member states to improve their labor administration, labor inspection, and occupational safety and health capacities.
Nancy earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and her law degree from the University of Minnesota. She and her husband have two sons, and are moving back to the Twin Cities this year.

Read more about the appointments here.