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Sen. Liz Warren Cites Dubious ROC Study

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) cited a questionable study of restaurant workers during a forum of former employees of Andy Puzder’s companies. The forum was called to criticize Puzder, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Labor.

“According to a survey of 550 Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s employees just released this morning by the Restaurant Opportunities Coalition United, about a third of respondents reported that they were illegally force to work extra hours without pay. Over a third of the respondents reported unpaid overtime or receiving the breaks that the law requires. Seventy-nine percent reported working sick…And over half experience unwanted sexual advances at work,” Warren said.

Warren used these statistics to reach a conclusion about Puzder, saying, “These are not isolated incidences. They reflect the kind of business that Mr. Puzder has built.”

Concerns arose about the ROC United study when Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) tried to shoot down a reporter’s question about the validity of the study, saying, “We’re not representing ourselves as statisticians.”

A reporter asked Ellison and other presenters of the study if their results were “representative” since the study was done through social media.
“Trump gets online and quotes statistics all the time. What we’re giving you is feedback from real people,” Ellison said.

Ellison then undermined the accuracy of the study himself, saying, “When a statistician gets ahold of the labor record of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, it’s going to be worse than 500 people reporting bad labor violations.”

However, Ellison made it clear that he does not value scientific accuracy of polls, saying, “They always try to ask you questions about the fine points and then they try to create this idea that you don’t have your act together if you can’t answer their fine point question.”