The world of HR is inextricably linked to and highly influenced by politics in America. As the country and the world turn their attention to the outcome of the U.S. general election on November 8th (get out there and vote folks), HR practitioners also attempt to predict how the new presidential administration will create and shape policy that impacts the world of work for the next 4 years.
For funsies, let’s imagine Donald J. Trump is elected president, shall we. For this experiment, we’ll make several assumptions. 1) Assume Trump does everything outlined on his platform, 2)Assume he gets no push-back from things as trivial as the balance of powers- congress and courts and 3)Assume we don’t get blown up first by North Korea because Trump goes on a 3am Tweetstorm fat-shaming Kim Jong-un.
Headline: Trump creates 25 million new jobs. Based on the first presidential debate, I’m assuming Trump is speaking about the manufacturing jobs that were off-shored within the last few decades to countries like China and Mexico. So, the jobs he is talking about “creating” are not the knowledge-based, white-collar, high-paying jobs that prop up the middle class these are blue-collar, low-paying manual labor jobs. But don’t worry HR, these won’t be unionized jobs so no need to brush up on the National Labor Relations Act. Just dust off your work comp and OSHA knowledge.
Headline: Trump repeals Obamacare. Not only does Trump repeal Obamacare lifting HR from the burden of stupid 1095 administration, he also does not expand Medicare and probably relieves employers from the burden altogether of actually providing medical benefits to employees. Trump Industries subsequently announces the creation of a new business venture, health insurance.
Headline: Trump Administration Repeals FLSA Changes. Encouraging business and job growth by limiting Federal government regulations Trump eliminates the increase to the FLSA salary test and all other proposed changes thereby keeping all FLSA provisions as they were written in 1938. Further, Trump repeals the Federal Minimum Wage and leaves the States to determine their own minimum wage. Federal prevailing wages on government contracts are also eliminated.
Headline: Year 2020-Women Still Earn Less for Equal Work. Trump has laid out zero plans for closing the gender pay gap during his campaign. Given his convictions to allow businesses to run unfettered, the Trump Administration will not be using its executive powers to make sure that women and people of color earn the same as white males for equal effort, equal work. HR will continue to have to document pay disparities to prevent EEOC claims of discrimination.
Headline: Women Earn Less but Get Paid Maternity Leave. While Trump mostly favors de-regulation and repealing Federal Agency regulations and final rules, he does favor paid maternity leave. Trump will pass a bill requiring employers to provide 6-full weeks of paid maternity leave, a program that looks similar to the State of California’s already existing Paid Family Leave (PFL). And sorry men, you are excluded. HR must be ready to administer leave in conjunction with FMLA and other State paid leave laws.
Headline: Trump Nominates Putin as Replacement for Justice Scalia. Don’t say it’s not possible. You are also the same person who thought Trump would never, could never be the f-in Republican Nominee for President of these United States.
During the Obama Administration, HR has had to remain on the forefront of the ever-changing political landscape. HR has been on the frontline partnering with the business, educating leadership and ensuring complicity with new laws. We grumbled, we whined, we bitched through it all. But now, as an HR practitioner, I feel stronger and I feel like we made the workplace better for employees. It feels like it would be a shame to roll all of that back under a Trump Administration.