Scott Huffstetler of Kean Miller has been practicing labor and employment law for 14 years. Like all of his colleagues, he’s closely watching how the new president will change the landscape.
“There is an air of excitement that comes in every time there’s a new administration,” he tells Business Report in a feature in the new issue. “And there is some anxiety among employers, because so much of employment law is driven by the executive branch.”
Generally speaking, employers can expect less federal oversight under President Donald Trump, who has promised a more business-friendly administration than his predecessor. The Republican president’s budget, which doesn’t carry the force of law but does illustrate the administration’s priorities, proposes deep cuts for enforcement agencies.
However, not every Trump proposal is aimed at making employers’ lives easier. As a candidate, Trump promised to mandate paid maternity leave, and at times suggested he might support a higher federal minimum wage, Huffstetler notes.
And businesses could be drafted into Trump’s promised immigration crackdown. It probably will be harder to get skilled foreign labor into the country, and employers can expect greater scrutiny of their workers’ immigration status. Trump wants to make E-Verify, an online system used to confirm workers’ employment eligibility, mandatory nationwide, “which would be more burdensome for employers,” Huffstetler says.
Vicki Crochet and Thomas Peak, employment and labor attorneys with Taylor Porter, expect to see less emphasis on protecting the LGBT community from discrimination. Peak anticipates the appointments of more business-friendly federal judges, from the U.S. Supreme Court on down. The Senate’s Republican majority held up many of former President Barack Obama’s appointees, leaving Trump with the opportunity to fill more than 100 vacancies on the federal bench.