While last Tuesday’s election shifted the balance of power in Congress away from Republicans, I don’t see it having much impact on labor and employment law over the next two years. Because the Democrats now control the House and the Republicans have a pretty sizable majority in the Senate, I would expect no major labor and employment legislation to get passed. In fact, I don’t see much legislation of any kind getting passed over the next two years.
I don’t see this deviating much from what would have happened had Republicans maintained control of the House. After passing tax-reform last year, the Republicans did not have a very ambitious legislative agenda. No Republicans were talking about major legislative changes to labor and employment law.
As for changes to the agencies overseeing labor and employment law like the EEOC and the NLRB, the people serving on those agencies are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, so there are not going to be any changes in the ideological bent of those agencies. As we have discussed, this is good for employers, as these agencies have taken a much less aggressive stance towards businesses.
As for regulatory policy over the next few years, I would expect a change in the overtime rules sometime in 2019. I predict that the income level for employees who are eligible for overtime will increase modestly, probably considerably less than the amount proposed by the Obama Administration. The EEOC will also probably attempt to clarify how Title VII should be interpreted by setting forth its position that it does not protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
What do you think? Do you see major changes in federal labor and employment law? Send me your thoughts at: firstname.lastname@example.org.