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What Trump's Presidency Means for the Future of Human Resources

January 20 2017 - There is no denying that the recent change of guards in American politics is set to have far reaching implications when it comes to labor and human resource management. Trump seems to be going in the direction of protectionism, which could affect HR in many ways. In this article, we're going to take a look at what Trump's presidency means for the future of human resources and its impact on workplace policies. We'll discuss the likely changes that will flow down from the federal policy changes that will happen under Trump and their impact on Human Resources, from recruitment to training.

Overtime Regulations

It is likely that President Trump will try to roll back the FLSA overtime regulations that a judge blocked in late 2016. These rules would have caused an additional four million Americans to qualify for mandatory overtime protection and twelve and a half million to qualify for time and a half overtime compensation. If it were not repealed, many businesses would start to micromanage the hours worked by currently salaried employees.

If the rule remained in effect, it could result in many jobs that were salaried becoming hourly, with the end effect being that only the upper echelons of the workforce retain salaries and benefits while those earning less than about $47,000 are much more closely monitored and managed. If overtime were paid, employers would end up reducing set base wages to offset the expected overtime. Employees under this rule would lose job flexibility and likely be prevented from working overtime.


Companies will still be free to have diversity policies in the workplace. However, the biggest change will be the repeal of diversity mandates as federal policy. Under President Obama, federal contractors received preference for contract awards if they met diversity metrics such as certain percentages of the workforce belonging to certain minorities, proven outreach efforts to recruit members of specific groups or meeting third party metrics like the Out and Equal Index on recruitment, benefits and retention policies. Someone earning an online masters degree in political science should study the fine legal line that is only going to get grayer during the Trump administration.


While Trump has promised to repeal Obamacare, it is unknown whether Congress will repeal and replace, or simply repeal it. If repealed but not replaced, insurance rules would go back to what they were prior to Obamacare's passage, barring any state level changes to insurance law. If Obamacare is replaced, the legal changes would be aimed at reducing health insurance premiums that rose at alarming rates to meet Obamacare's mandates.

However, 2017 insurance coverage for most companies is already in effect. Even if new legislation on health insurance were passed in 2017, it couldn't go into effect until 2018 at the earliest barring repeal of specific mandates. The end result of this is that Trump's ACA promises won't impact employer health insurance during 2017 and likely well after that.

Someone with an online masters in political science would find employment helping companies plan their future health and wellness benefits during this time of regulatory uncertainty.

Trump's victory means that many HR policies issued as a result of regulatory interpretations and executive orders like transgender issues in the workplace addressed under Title IX, immigration law and the FLSA will change very quickly. Changes that require legislation to pass, like altering or repealing Obamacare or federal sick pay coverage for maternity, will take months to pass and years to go into effect. The NLRB will become business friendly as soon as the open positions are filled. Companies remain free to pursue many of their current policies going forward, as long as they do not directly conflict with changing laws and regulations.

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