Before taking office on January 20, President Donald Trump identified several employment-related actions among his administrative priorities. This has left many business owners and HR professionals wondering how the Trump administration may affect employers. Although no one can positively predict the future, here are some key areas that employers and HR professionals should be watching:
Repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
One of President Donald Trump’s first moves after taking office was signing an executive order to limit what he referred to as the “burdens of the Affordable Care Act,” the first step toward fulfilling his campaign promise to dismantle the law. According to NPR health correspondent Alison Kodjak, President Trump believes the law is hurting the entire healthcare industry. She says President Trump wants to make health insurance accessible to all and ease the burden across the board—not just on individuals, but on insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, and medical device-makers.
This is obviously a sweeping mandate, and according to Kodjack, President Trump and his colleagues on Capitol Hill don’t yet seem to be on the same page about what they want. For the time being, we’ll just have to watch and wait.
Federal Overtime Rule
The Department of Labor’s Federal Overtime Rule remains on hold with an uncertain future. Some speculate that the the injunction could become permanent, while others suggest the new salary threshold may be lowered or the rule’s automatic salary increases eliminated.
Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies on January 20, ordering a freeze of federal regulations that haven’t yet gone into effect. This freeze suggests that the Trump administration may reverse the controversial overtime rules. Prior to taking office, President Trump expressed that he favors a small business exemption to the rule. He also characterized the rule as an example of “overregulation.”
While existing rules remain in place, employers will have to make their own decisions on whether it makes sense for them to roll out any planned changes.
While on the campaign trail, President Trump supported a $10-an-hour minimum wage, but also said that states should take the lead in this area. The trend of states raising their own minimum wage rates will likely continue.
Immigration reform was the centerpiece of President Trump’s campaign. In addition to instituting an immigrant travel ban, President Trump plans to revamp the H-1B visa program that allows highly-skilled foreigners to work at U.S. companies. According to a January 23 draft executive order, we can expect a report within the next 90 days that details the administration’s plans for allocating visas and making the program more efficient.
As part of his immigration plan, President Trump also supports requiring all employers to use E-verify, an employment eligibility verification system. Currently, over 600,000 employers already use the system.
To counteract immigration reform measures put in place by the Obama administration, President Trump may also move to cancel the work authorization granted under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Maternity Leave and Childcare
According to the Society for Human Resource Professionals, although President Trump is calling for decreased deregulation overall, he supports increased regulation in a few areas. On September 13, he unveiled a plan to enhance unemployment insurance to include six weeks of paid maternity leave, similar to California’s program. He is also is calling for increased incentives for employers to provide child care at work.
When Will Changes Take Effect?
Any administration’s changes take time to go into effect. Executive orders can quickly be reversed and regulatory changes typically undergo a notice and comment period. Of course, Congress must still originate new laws and changes to existing laws.
Help Understanding New and Changing Employer Regulations
If you need help understanding new and changing employer regulations, contact the professionals at HR Synergy. Our labor law compliance experts will give you and your management team the knowledge and tools you need to comply with federal and state regulations, avoiding costly fines and penalties. Contact us today!