California Labor &
Employment Law Blog

Mar. 6 2017

Three Labor and Employment Issues to Watch Under the Trump Administration

Topics: Legal Information

Three of the top labor and employment law issues to watch in the beginning of the Trump administration include:  (1) the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) minimum salary requirements for overtime compensation; (2) mandatory, federal paid maternity leave; and (3) more rigorous state and local laws in the labor and employment arena.

DOL Salary Test

Last year, the DOL raised the federal salary requirements for exempt employees to $47,476 annually. This regulation is currently stayed based on a Texas court's injunction (which is pending appeal before the Fifth Circuit).  It is unclear what the Trump administration will do with this regulation.  It is possible that President Trump and newly appointed Labor Secretary Acosta may completely repeal this regulation.  They may also push Congress for a statute providing for a lower salary threshold, thereby decreasing the burden on employers for meeting the “salary basis” test for overtime exemption purposes. This area is likely to get more attention once Secretary Acosta is confirmed, which this author suspects will happen.

Paid Family Leave

President Trump is generally against additional regulations and employer mandates.  However, Ivanka Trump, who is a very strong advocate for paid family leave, is the most influential First Daughter in modern history and will be a strong voice on the paid maternity leave issue.  If Trump and his daughter can convince Congress to get behind them, employers may be subject to a new mandatory federal requirement that calls for up to six (6) weeks of paid maternity leave for working mothers.  The paid portion of this leave would likely be funded by employer and employee contributions, similar to the current paid leave program in California. 

State and Local Regulations

Finally, employers operating in typically regarded “employee-friendly” states like  California should expect the state legislatures to play an activist role on behalf of employees and enact a variety of additional legal protections to curb President Trump’s efforts at rolling back many of the Obama Executive Orders and other initiatives.  We expect the California Legislature to introduce many employment related bills.  We also expect liberal municipalities like San Francisco, Santa Monica, and others to continue to enact employment regulation to provide greater protections for workers in those cities.  

About CDF

For over 20 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor

Robin Largent has a regular presence in California state and federal courts and has been lead defense counsel and appellate counsel for large and small California employers in litigation (and arbitration) ranging from individual discrimination and harassment claims to complex wage and hour representative and class actions. She also leads the firm’s appellate practice, having substantial experience and success handling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs in both state and federal court on issues such as class certification (particularly in the wage and hour arena), manageability and due process concerns associated with class action trials, exempt/non-exempt misclassification issues, meal and rest break compliance, trade secret/unfair competition matters, and the scope of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.
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