Now that the election is over and President-elect Trump will take office, employers may be wondering how they will be affected. Who Trump will nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court, what legislation will be passed by Congress, and what regulatory rollbacks will occur are currently all up in the air. One way he can make an immediate impact from day one is through Executive Orders (EOs). Executive Orders have long been used by Presidents to manage operations within the federal government. President Obama used them to make sweeping changes in requirements for federal contractors. President-elect Trump has indicated that reversing many of Obama’s Executive Orders will be among his first acts.
Some of the more prominent employment-related Executive Orders that could be rescinded by Trump during his Presidency regulate numerous aspects of federal contractor requirements:
• EO 13706 requires that federal contractors give employees up to seven paid sick leave days per year, including leave to take care of a family member. This EO will be effective for government contracts issued on or after January 1, 2017.
• EO 13673 requires current and prospective federal contractors to disclose whether an adverse finding or decision relating to a federal labor law has been rendered against them within the last three years when bidding for government work. The reporting covers numerous federal labor laws including the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII, The Family and Medical Leave Act, The Occupational Safety and Health Act, and others. These self-reports are used by the Federal government to determine whether a contract should be awarded or extended. It also requires contractors to provide wage statements to employees identifying their hours worked, rate of pay, deductions, and exempt or non-exempt status, among other things. This EO was set to go into effect late October 2016 but is currently on hold due to a federal lawsuit in Texas. However, the wage statement provisions will still be effective for bids made on or after January 1, 2017. It would be interesting to see how many bids are actually submitted though or how many will simply wait to see if then President Trump will rescind this EO.
• EO 13672 prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against employees or applicants because of sexual orientation or gender identity. The regulations implementing this EO have been in effect since April of 2016.
• EO 13494 prohibits federal contractors from receiving reimbursement for activities related to trying to influence employees to join or not join a union. The regulations implementing this EO went into effect in 2011.
Although it remains to be seen how many of President Obama’s Executive Orders, if any, will be rescinded by Trump when he takes office, it is likely that some will be completely repealed or changed in some way. Which Executive Orders may be rescinded would be a very good indicator of the other labor and employment areas where employers are likely to see changes during his tenure in office. It is important, however, to remember that changes in laws and regulations do not happen overnight. For example, any changes to the recent overtime regulations will take some time but many believe this too is an area where President-elect Trump will be focusing his attention.