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How Will a Donald Trump Presidency Impact HR?

March 14, 2017


With President Donald Trump now in the White House, the country and the world are watching to see what changes will come out of Washington. How will these changes affect the workplace and human resource professionals across the country? Although we can’t predict the future, here are some thoughts on what we may see.


President Trump has been very clear on his intent to reduce regulations. His initial nominee to head the Department of Labor was seen as a sign that business regulations were firmly in the Administration's sights. The now withdrawn nominee, Andrew Puzder, is an outspoken advocate for decreasing regulations as a way to fuel job growth. Current nominee Alexander Acosta, if confirmed, will likely be tasked with championing the President's mission to reduce regulations that may limit job creation.

What would decreased regulations mean for HR? Back in January, the administration took immediate action to freeze pending regulations, including:

  • The 'overtime rule' for federal contractors, which would raise the overtime salary threshold from approximately $23,000 to around $47,000, resulting in time-and-a-half overtime eligibility to 4 million more workers.

  • The 'disclosure rule' for federal contractors. The Senate recently passed a measure to eliminate the proposed contractor disclosure rule requiring prospective federal contractors to report past labor-law violations.

  • The EEOC's pay data disclosure rule, which would require employers with 100 or more employees to report summary pay data, and specifically what it pays its employees categorized by gender, ethnicity and race.

In addition, we'll likely see a downsizing of the OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) even more than had already been projected, which would result in less compliance cases brought against companies. We may also see less EEOC enforcement. We'll know more once a Secretary for the Department of Labor is confirmed.

Jobs and Hiring

At this point, we don't definitively know if we'll see more or less hiring as a result of a Trump presidency, but there are a few indicators we can reference.

  • While some praised President Trump's late-2016 deal with Carrier (keeping roughly 800 jobs in the U.S.), others criticized this as meddling in the free market. In the meantime, several other companies have announced plans for increased hiring. Whether or not this trend continues during President Trump’s administration is yet to be seen.

  • Some economists predict job growth and an increase in hiring because of decreased regulation and taxes.

  • International trade faces uncertainty, and it is unclear as to how that will impact jobs at home.

  • The ADP February National Employment Report shows the creation of 298,000 private-sector jobs, up from 261,000 in January. Again, we need to wait and see if this growth will be sustainable or if it will be short-lived.


Health insurance has been a hot political topic for years now, and that is not likely to change.

  • President Trump’s promise to “repeal and replace” Obamacare is getting close to becoming a reality, with the recent introduction of the “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017” bill earlier this month. This will certainly have significant consequences for how employers deal with their benefits, too.

  • Paid family leave was another topic during the campaign that received some attention. One of the president's campaign promises was to give new mothers some type of paid leave after having a baby. He also spoke about this during his first address to Congress in late February. There is debate over the actual proposal, though, as it states that the benefit would only apply to married birth mothers.

There are always uncertainties when any new president takes office, and that holds true with President Trump. One thing is for sure:  it will be interesting to see what happens over the next four years in Washington and how it affects HR professionals.

Time will tell if President Trump is a great leader. But we can tell you what great leaders do differently - check out this whitepaper on the topic:

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Rose Keith Rose Keith is a Consultant based in the Pittsburgh office of PSI. Rose manages selection process implementation projects and works with clients to ensure that these processes are working well. She also manages, develops, and delivers training programs, both externally and within PSI.