The U.S. Labor Department is hosting a reception this week to honor former Labor Secretary
Current and former DOL employees, including those who now live outside Washington, D.C., are invited to the event inside the agency’s Washington headquarters to view Acosta’s portrait unveiling, according to an invitation obtained by Bloomberg Law and confirmed by three invitees. Guests are asked—not ordered—to wear face-coverings “except when eating and drinking” and requested to “follow social distancing practices.”
Acosta resigned in 2019 amid public outcry over his handling of a decade-old plea deal for accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. His leadership tenure was also marked by clashes with White House advisers who felt the risk-averse Acosta was slow-walking deregulatory measures coveted by businesses.
It’s unclear how many people plan to attend. There are about 150 political appointees currently at the department and at least a few dozen who worked at the DOL earlier in the administration and have since left, according to an agency official.
Acosta’s event will be held at the Great Hall of the Frances Perkins Building, a spacious area where walls are covered with paintings of other past labor secretaries.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against large gatherings that risk spreading Covid-19, particularly when attendees travel from out of town. Washington, D.C., Mayor
DOL media representatives declined to address questions about any additional safety precautions being taken to prevent coronavirus infection, such as whether guests will be required to test negative before entering.
“The Department follows safety protocols for all meetings and events,” a DOL spokeswoman said in a statement.
It wouldn’t be unprecedented for Acosta to have waited for his event to be held during the Biden administration. President