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Like many people, I did not believe that Donald Trump would win the presidency and I assumed that we would continue to see, at the very least, a continuation of President Obama’s progressive and aggressive agenda. What we ended up with, however, is a new administration that is fundamentally different from the previous one. While there continues to be much rhetoric, it is clear that the Trump Administration will impact the business climate and, in particular, the progressive agenda of President Obama. As a result, there are a number of areas that are clearly impacted:
The Supreme Court
The media casts Supreme Court justices as conservative or liberal or moderate, but the truth is that they vote the way they want to vote and there is little or no consistency about it. Each of the past five presidents had the opportunity to appoint two Supreme Court Justices. As with most things that impact our government, Democratic presidents are inclined to appoint more liberal judges while Republican presidents are inclined to appoint more conservative judges.
The President, having already filed two vacancies, may have the opportunity to fill one additional vacancy. If that happens, the Supreme Court will undoubtable shift to be more conservative.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
The Board consists of five members, each appointed for five-year staggered terms with one member’s term expiring each year. There are, currently, two vacancies; The NLRB is, probably, the most politicized of all the Independent Agencies and the Board typically vacillate on issues, generally along political lines. Republican Boards will more often defer to employees than to unions and Democratic Boards will more often defer to unions than employees.
The previous administration was clearly pro-union and there are a number of issues that will be addressed by the new Board. These include:
As with many Independent Agencies, the EEOC also has five members of the Board. The President has appointed a new chair from the current members and he appointed two additional members to make it a conservative majority, as with the NLRB. While it appears that there will be a conservative majority on the Board, it is unlikely that there will be many changes for the foreseeable future.
Beyond the media hype and angst that surrounds the Trump Administration, there are fundamental changes occurring at all levels of the federal government. These changes can and will have a lasting impact on the next president’s administration (whoever that is). While the obvious areas, like the Supreme Court, are discussed regularly, the more serious impacts, especially for Human Resource practitioners, will be on the federal regulatory agencies and the regulatory process itself. Since regulations have the same impact as legislation, HR needs to be aware of what is happening at the federal level.
In addition, for the past few decades, Congress has been unwilling or unable to address any HR related issues with the legislation, leaving these matters to either the regulatory agency or, in many cases, the individual states or even municipalities. These issues create additional philosophical differences across the country, impacting all employers, but especially those with multi-state operations. Finally, the last year of the current Trump administration looks to be an active one, especially in the Department of Labor. What is coming and what will get approved will set the stage for either a second Trump Administration or a new Democrat President.
Dr. Chartier is the Principal of HRinfo4u, a human resource consulting firm, and a well-known educator and speaker. As a consultant, he works with organizations to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their human resource function. He has worked extensively in designing, developing, and implementing human resource program, procedures, and systems for smaller and mid-size firms up and down the Hudson Valley.
Greg is a thought-provoking professional speaker, and his wisdom and insights into management and leadership make him an electrifying speaker and seminar leader. His seminars are customized to reinforce company mission, vision, values, and culture, and the content is practical for team leaders, managers, supervisors, and executives alike. Dr. Chartier has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, an MBA in Finance, and a Ph.D. in Human Resources. He is a National Member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and is certified by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR), as well as a Senior Certified Professional (SCP) by SHRM.
Greg served on the board of the local SHRM Chapter, the Westchester Human Resources Management Association (WHRMA), as the Treasurer for nine years. Also, Greg served on the Board of the Business Council of Westchester in a variety of capacities and continues his service as the Chair of the Human Resources Council. He also serves on the Board of the Child Care Council of Westchester. He works with the Continuing and Professional Education Program at Pace University and is a member of the faculty of the New York Medical College, where he teaches in the Masters’ in Public Health Program. He is the author of What Law Did You Break Today? A guide to the federal laws and regulations that employers must comply with.