With the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump on January 20th, many people are wondering what the new administration will mean for their businesses. On the campaign trail, Trump expressed several employment-related moves, including the Affordable Care Act, minimum wage, and immigration. While it is nearly impossible to make any predictions, we can outline some areas that could be focused on.
Affordable Care Act
One of the major issues that Trump ran on, was the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A full repeal of the ACA is not a small task, and Congress has already started their efforts to repeal it. However, some Republicans in Congress have shown discomfort in a full repeal without having a replacement in place. Without a full replacement, portions of the law could be repealed including the “Cadillac tax,” or the individual mandate for Americans to have health insurance. Employers should continue to watch for the latest on the ACA after Trump takes office.
In July, Donald Trump said on the campaign trail that he supported a $10 per hour federal minimum wage, however he seemed to favor that states should be responsible for setting their own minimum wage. Additionally, he said that he could not support a $15 per hour minimum wage, which was supported by Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. Employers should continue to follow the trend of states and cities setting their own minimum wage laws. 19 states have raised their minimum wage for 2017.
The new FLSA overtime rule was to be effective on December 1, 2016, however a federal judge, who was appointed by President Obama, granted a temporary injunction for the rule. The Department of Labor was granted an expedited appeal of the injunction, where final briefs are scheduled to take place on January 31, 2017 and oral arguments are tentatively scheduled for February 7, 2017. Trump has stated that the rule was “overregulation” and additionally favors a small business exemption to the rule. Since the appeal takes place after the inauguration, the injunction could be permanent, or the salary threshold could be lowered.
Another major issue that Donald Trump campaigned for change is immigration. With proposals to build a border wall on the Mexican border, and a temporary ban on Muslim travel ban to the U.S., it can be expected that there will be more immigration enforcement. According to recent statistics, approximately 650,000 employers are enrolled in the E-Verify system. Trump has supported a mandate for all employers to be enrolled in E-Verify. Congress has attempted to implement a mandated enrollment to E-Verify, but it has not been successful so far due to gridlock. In addition to E-Verify, Trump has vowed to overturn Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program. This benefit allows a certain number of undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children eligibility for employment, for a period of two years.
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