I had a blog piece almost done. It was going to give an overview of another NLRB case which threatened to overturn settled law and expand the rights of unions to organize. I was going to use it as another “Year of Change” post.
Then the votes got counted.
After eight years of ever more progressive employment regulations for manufacturers, we are faced with a new sea of uncertainty.
The Affordable Care Act, Dodd-Frank, the NLRB’s Expedited Election Rule, the DOL’s Revised Persuader Rule, the future of multi-employer pension funds and the DOL’s new overtime regulation (to name just a few): All up for grabs.
To make matters more challenging, most manufacturers will have to make key compliance decisions within the next few weeks. They do not have the luxury of waiting until the inauguration of President Trump on January 20.
Let’s just take one example. As noted in previous posts, on December 1, the DOL’s new overtime regulation takes effect. Under that new regulation, any employee who makes less than $47,476 must be paid at least minimum wage and time-and-a-half for overtime. Many employers determined that for cost or other considerations it was easier to pay the increased salary than to convert the employee to an hourly wage rate. These employers are likely preparing notices right now – today – to advise their employees of the change in pay.
What will the Trump Administration do to that new overtime regulation? Will President Trump, who campaigned on a pledge to help the American worker, repeal a regulation which increases worker wages? Will the regulation be altered to exempt non-profits or other industries suffering from economic stagnation? If the regulation is amended, will those changes to retroactive to December 1 and will the outgoing DOL sit on the sidelines if manufacturers refuse to comply with the new regulation? If the regulation is repealed or revised, will manufacturers roll back wage increases given to employees when it was in effect?
These are just some of the challenges facing manufacturers today And today, like most other people in America, I simply do not have the answers.