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Thursday, November 10, 2016

What to Expect Employment Wise from President Trump?


By Thomas Eden

Mr. Trump’s views on immigration are well known: In addition to “the Wall,” he favors making E-Verify a national requirement, raising the prevailing wage for workers under the H-1B visa program (to make American workers more competitive with their H-1B counterparts), and requiring that employers hire (or, at least, try to hire) Americans before seeking to hire foreign nationals. Employers can expect ICE audits to ramp up in the first 100 days.

Mr. Trump has expressed support of right-to-work aimed at preventing foreign workers from competing with Americans for jobs.

Mr. Trump said in July that he would favor an increase of the minimum wage to $10 an hour but thinks states should be able to vary from that.

On LGBT equal employment opportunities, Mr. Trump signaled support for LGBT rights when one of the featured speakers at the Republican Convention was Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, who is openly gay.

Mr. Trump favors paid maternity leave (women only, for recovery from childbirth) for six weeks immediately after the birth of a child. He also wants to make child care tax deductible, and favors an Earned Income Tax Credit for lower-income families who need child care.

Mr. Trump has promised to roll back the employment regulations implemented by President Obama. The two most depressing regulations for employers on the horizon are OSHA's post-accident reasonable possibility drug testing rule which becomes effective December 1, 2016. The other regulation throwing employers into a tailspin, also effective December 1, 2016, is the doubling of the salary threshold for exempt employees to $47,476. Of course Obamacare is the most full-time employee job killing act ever passed. I predict that Mr. Trump will seek to rollback all three.

Mr. Trump with regards to marijuana legalization has stated that he supports a state’s rights to choose how to legislate medical marijuana and is in favor of medical marijuana 100%. But he has called Colorado's legal marijuana industry a "real problem."

Common Sense Counsel. From an employment law perspective, I predict that Mr. Trump will be the friend of the hard American working wage earner, the struggling single mom, the LGBT community, federal contractors under the Obama politically correct pen and business entrepreneurs of all description. He will likely be on the other side of the fence from wall street fat cats, foreign employers who take advantage of, or disrespect, workers, regulators who do not listen to legitimate employer concerns and union bosses who do not bring a “can do” attitude to the table. This was a brick through the showroom window movement and I do not expect Trump will depart from his stated mission.

Tommy Eden is a partner working out of the Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP offices in Opelika, AL and West Point, GA and a member of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and serves on the Board of Directors for the East Alabama SHRM Chapter. Some quotes contained in the column were taken from a Constangy Blog Post by his law Partner Robin Shea. Tommy can be contacted at teden@constangy.com or 334-246-2901. Blog at www.alabamaatwork.com