Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Preparing for Possible Policy Changes in Human Resources

After the election of every new governmental administration, it’s important for Human Resources to take stock of its current concerns and prepare for possible adjustments & new hot topics. The recent presidential election is no different, with its host of new concerns for Human Resources and the general public. With Republican nominee Donald Trump winning the electoral vote for the presidential seat, and a Republican dominated House of Representatives and Senate, those in the field of Human Resources should keep a keen eye out for changes in policies we may have just recently implemented. In this issue of Astronology®, we’ll review some key policies that could possibly be subject to adjustment over the coming months and years.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Exemption Rules
Most everyone in HR has been preparing for the December 1st FLSA Final Rule Adjustments announced this past May, and determining which roles are exempt and which are non-exempt moving forward. However, there has been speculation that further modifications under the incoming new administration may include an adjusted exemption for small business. Given that nothing has been stated or implemented definitively, however, employers should maintain their current course, and implement any changes necessary to be in compliance with the FLSA on December 1st.

Federal Minimum Wage
An extremely hot topic for the past two years has been the possibility of raising the minimum wage, with adjustments to meet the rising cost of living across the nation. While in New York the “fast food” minimum wage will gradually be raised to $15 by 2019, the current Federal minimum wage is $7.25. While it is speculated that Congressional Republicans are resistant to any increase, the President-elect previously mentioned that he wouldn’t mind a $10 minimum wage. However, President-elect Trump has noted that he believes states should take responsibility for this matter, or “call the shots.”

Federal Child Care and Paid Leave Support
While campaigning, the President-elect highlighted three facets in regards to federal child care support:
  • A dependent care savings account
  • Income tax deduction for dependent care
  • Six weeks of paid maternity leave
Campaign talk is one thing. Programs put into action are another. There are questions on how these programs could be supported. One economist has speculated that the six weeks of paid maternity leave could encourage employers to drop their own maternity policies and lean on having taxpayers support maternity leave.

The Affordable Care Act
Things are unclear as to what will happen with the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). What was initially understood as possibly being totally repealed under a Trump administration, it now appears instead that portions of the ACA will be put under repeal. We’ll have to wait some months to see what features of the ACA will stay the same and what will change.

Astronology® looks forward to tracking the possible new changes in HR coming with the new administration in Washington, D.C. As in the past, we’ll be sure to give further insights as time goes by and more specific policies & adjustments are announced.

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