What Impact Could Trump's Election Have on Employers?

Date   Nov 9, 2016

Executive Summary: The election is over. The vote is in. Donald Trump will be our 45th President. And, for the first time since 2006 (when the 109th Congress was in session during the Bush administration), come 2017, a Republican President will work with Republican control in both Houses of Congress. So, what does this all mean to you as employers? The pundits have projected, generally, that many of the Obama administration initiatives will be rolled back under the Trump administration. Of course, while we can be sure change is on the way, at this point, we are not sure which provisions will be targeted or how quickly changes will be implemented.

Change and Uncertainty in the Future

Based on Trump’s business-friendly position on most issues during his campaign, certain areas appear to be ripe for reform. For example, Trump may take action fairly quickly to overturn or amend some of Obama’s more burdensome Executive Orders, such as the Blacklisting EO, the requirement of paid family leave for employees of federal contractors, and the increased minimum wage rate.

Additionally, Trump’s election will have an impact on the make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court, since he will likely appoint the replacement for conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away in February. Trump will also be in a position to fill the two vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board, which could have a significant impact on Board decision-making. With a Republican-controlled Congress, it is also possible that we will see more business-friendly legislation enacted over the next four years. Furthermore, it is also likely that Trump’s Department of Labor will abandon the current administration’s efforts to expand the “persuader” rules.

Trump’s election will likely also result in reexamination of the EEOC’s plan to collect pay data from certain employers and federal contractors. The EEOC’s pay data collection rule is scheduled to take effect March 31, 2018.   

While Trump emphasized immigration reform during his campaign, it is not clear what specific actions he plans to take or how those actions may impact employers.  Additionally, Trump has pledged to repeal and replace “Obamacare.” While it remains to be seen whether a full repeal will be enacted, amendments to the law are a possibility.  

Finally, as employers prepare to comply with the Department of Labor’s Rule amending the “white collar” exemption compensation scheme under the Fair Labor Standards Act, many employers may wonder whether Trump will take action to overturn this rule. Although additional rule-making is possible, it is too early to predict what action Trump may take in this area. Accordingly, employers should work to ensure compliance with the Rule when it takes effect. The Rule is currently scheduled to take effect December 1, 2016, subject to judicial challenge.

Over the coming weeks and months, we will work to keep you informed on the actions of the new administration. We will provide you with our best advice on what you may expect and when.

If you have any questions regarding this Alert or other labor or employment related issues, please feel free to contact FordHarrison partners Al McKenna, amckenna@fordharrison.comChristine Hanley,, or Angela Cummings, You may also contact the FordHarrison attorney with whom you usually work.