Workplace Policy Institute Insider Report — January 2017

Littler's Workplace Policy Institute Insider Report details notable labor, employment, and benefits news and events at the federal, state, local, and global levels. The January edition of the Insider Report reviews what federal agencies accomplished in the final weeks of 2016, discusses state and municipal laws that advanced in December, and previews what the 115th Congress has in store for 2017. The Insider Report includes the following sections:

Insider Briefing [p. 1].  On January 3, 2017, the 115th Congress officially commenced. Donald Trump will be sworn into office as the 45th President of the United States on January 20. The last days and weeks of the Obama administration have been marked by a flurry of activity to enshrine as much of its agenda as possible before the new administration takes over. Meanwhile, the incoming Republican-controlled Congress and administration are poised to try to roll back as quickly as possible much of President Obama’s legislative and regulatory legacy.

On the Move [p. 4].  In the final days of 2016, state and local governments pushed bills and ordinances affecting the minimum wage, paid leave, pay equity, hiring, and work scheduling, among other employment topics. Enacting local measures to effect workplace change is only expected to increase in the coming year. As a counterbalance to the patchwork of employment laws emerging at the local level, preemption statutes will likely gain prominence in the coming months to stem this trend. Such bills aim to prevent municipalities from requiring private sector employers to provide employees with a level of benefits not set by state or federal statute.

In Focus [p. 7].  The loss of middle-class jobs in the rust-belt states seemed to be an important factor in the 2016 election, as President-elect Donald Trump’s message of keeping those jobs in America resonated with enough voters to seemingly tip the scales in his favor. Now, the President-elect prepares to take office and his administration will be charged with implementing the campaign’s platform. In this context, training and retraining workers for skills in demand in the 21st century economy is sure to take on added importance.   

Global Report [p. 9].  This section provides a roundup of international labor and employment news.

Outlook [p. 12].  A calendar of events provides information on upcoming regulatory comment deadlines, agency meetings, and related activities.

Read the full Insider Report here.