Employment Laws is a topic of training that is extremely important to manufacturers, especially due to the continual changes in law. With a new administration in the White House, there are a lot of possible changes coming for employment law. To help keep manufacturers up to date, SVAM decided to organize a Lunch & Learn led by employment law attorney Matthew Davison of Baker Donelson law firm. During this training, Mr. Davison discussed changes in Employment Law, with a focus on the different possible outcomes with the election of a new President. Mr. Davison stated, “remember, we can’t bank on predictions.. nevertheless, there is value in trying to prepare in advance for change.” The predictions made during this training included topics regarding: wage and hour, immigration, paid maternity leave, LGBTQ+ issues, pay equity, workplace safety, non-competes, and employment issues that could potentially be brought before the Supreme Court.
Wage and Hour: The new overtime rule was scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016. Its most significant change would have been requiring employers to pay overtime to employees who make less then $913 per week. A federal district court in Texas granted a temporary injunction blocking the new rule from taking effect.
Immigration: In his first 100 days video, Trump said he would “ramp-up workplace enforcement actions.”
- This will include I-9 audits.
- This could require the usage of E-Verify for all workers. It is unclear whether this would apply only to employers with a certain minimum number of employees.
- He would also like to alter the temporary work Visa programs.
Paid Maternity Leave Benefits: President Trump has indicated his support for paid maternity leave benefits.
- His statements suggest that this would be a new benefit and not part of the FMLA.
- It would provide up to six weeks of paid maternity leave to eligible employees.
- The average benefit would be of $300 per week.
- It is unclear whether it only applies to absences after the birth of a child.
- It is unclear whether fathers will benefit from this as well.
LGBTQ+ Issues: With a Republican controlled Congress, it is not likely that we will see nay action to change the law to add sexual orientation, transgender status, or gender identity to the federal discrimination laws.
Pay Equity: President Trump stated during his campaign that he is in support of equal pay for equal work.
- Many states have adopted equal pay laws that are different form the federal Equal Pay Act. This trend is likely to continue.
- The new EEO-1 reporting of hours and compensation (scheduled to take effect in March 2018) may or may not be rolled back under the Trump administration.
Workplace Safety: President Trump announced in his first 100 days video that for every new regulation created under his administration, two would have to be removed.
- Congress seems intent on reducing federal agency regulations.
- Congress and President Trump are highly likely to streamline agencies such as OSHA
- It is likely that President Trump will reverse OSHA’s penalty increases.
- It is likely President Trump will eliminate the electronic reporting rule.
Non-Competes: Under President Obama’s administration, there was a call-to-action issued urging states to reduce the authority of non-competes. It seems unlikely that President Trump will support legislation designed to take this tool that is meant to protect business interests away from employers.
Supreme Court: There are many different employment related issues that could come before the Supreme Court in the next years. These include:
- Arbitration provisions
- Class waivers
- Union agency shop fees
- the reach of Title VII
- Immigration programs
- Wage and hour law
- Administration agency powers
Although a lot of things are still up in the air at this point, we do hope these predictions were able to give you some idea of what to expect over the next few years.
Interested in attending a SVAM Lunch & Learn? Our next training will be on March 14th and will be regarding Workers’ Compensation. Click here for more information!
Source: Matthew D. Davison Presentation: 2017 in Employment Law: Stars Aligning or Through the Looking Glass?