With the uncertainty of the 2016 general election behind us, the votes counted in President-elect Trump’s favor, and both chambers of Congress controlled by the same political party, one would think we would have more clarity as to the changes in the law that lie ahead for businesses. Yet, the last few weeks have shown us that the uncertainty may continue as the transition team moves forward. While the President-elect assembles an administration and prepares to assume power, there are a number of legal issues that business owners should be aware of:
- Immigration was a hot topic during the election season. If campaign rhetoric is to become law, employers should get their houses in order. Employers can look for enforcement of regulations relating to employment-based immigration; should verify and encourage employees to renew all Employment Authorization Documents; and implement the new form I-9 as they hire and retain foreign workers. It would also be advised to keep employees currently on staff engaged as the pool of qualified applicants may decrease for some industries.
- Changes to the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), often referred to as “Obamacare,” may ensue. The health care industry, businesses, and employers spent millions of dollars coming into compliance with the ACA. While a candidate running for president, Mr. Trump said he would repeal the law. Yet, since his election, he has softened his tone and indicated parts of the Act may remain in place. Time will tell what the changes will be, but look for substantial changes including the elimination of the employer mandate. Recall that the “employer mandate” was the requirement that employers with 50 or more full-time employees were required to provide health insurance to their employees and dependents up to age 26.
- The much-anticipated “overtime rule” effective on December 1, 2016, might have a short-lived lifespan. While it was just enacted over the course of the last year, endorsed and signed by President Obama in May 2016, the next administration may overhaul, or amend, it in some shape or form. This may include a reduction in the salary threshold or elimination of the rule entirely.
In addition, there has been speculation that business regulations in general will be overhauled, changes will be made to the Internal Revenue Code, and paid family leave will be implemented. While no changes will occur until the President-elect takes office, it would be wise to prepare for some adjustments. As you guide your business through the changes, or question how they apply to your company, please contact the attorneys at Dalton & Tomich to assist you.