For many years, I’ve used my first post each year to look back and ahead at the area of employment law. My record of predictions has been about what you would expect someone predicting the future — about average.
Last year at this time, I said a few things though that seem to resonate with me including this:
That said, it feels like we’re in a period where employment law issues are being tweaked rather than rewritten. There hasn’t been a new federal law on employment law in many years, for example. And at the state legislature, you wonder how much more laws can be put in place on employment law before employers say “enough”. (See, e.g., General Electric.)
Instead, what we are seeing and will likely continue to see are new rules being promulgated at the agency level — such the decision from the NLRB last week regarding recordings in the workplace. Even the new white-collar overtime regulations may have less of an impact in Connecticut than some fear.
Thus, for 2016, I don’t think we’ll see as much as some predict.
So far pretty good. Even the white-collar exemptions got placed on hold, so there’s been no impact in Connecticut.
But I went on with this kicker:
Then again, let’s just check back in again in a year. There will be a new President and perhaps a change of political parties.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about predictions, it’s that the future is never exactly what we think it will be.
Not bad, though I’m not sure there were many predicting both a Trump administration with Republican majorities in Congress to boot.
And so, 2017 is going to be different. Very different it seems. The USDOL nominee is an outgoing fast-food company CEO for starters. He’ll bring a management perspective far different than the current administration.
The biggest change we’ll see will come from the appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. Expect the appointees to be management-friendly and roll back several decisions and rulings from the NLRB. Those decisions, however, may take some time to work through however.
Federal increases to minimum wage or federal legislation on things like paid sick leave or employment law protection based on gender identity or sexual orientation also seem unlikely.
What happens at the U.S. Supreme Court is still up in the air as well, though don’t be surprised to see a return of a union dues or “agency fees” case.
What will happen at the state level? Stay tuned.