For the last six years, you haven’t seen much on this blog about changes to federal employment laws because, well, there just weren’t any. What we DID see, however, were changes to regulations and enforcement orders.
Nearly six months into the new Trump administration, we’re now starting to see significant shifts in the federal regulatory scheme too.
A lot of national employment law blogs have been starting to recap them so I’m not going to go too in depth here. Among the changes? A death-knell to the persuader rule, and, earlier this month, a pullback of guidance on joint employment and independent contractor rules. And it looks like the overtime rule changes are still in limbo as well, with the DOL “rethinking” such rules in news articles this week.
You don’t need to have a law degree to understand that these changes will favor companies.
Last night too, the Trump administration named the final member of a new National Labor Relations Board who will, no doubt, start rolling back other labor law decisions that have favored employees and labor unions as well.
But what will the impact be in Connecticut?
It’s still a bit early to tell, but I think the impact may be muted in some ways. After all, we have a CONNECTICUT Department of Labor that still marches to its own drum. For example, it has taken a pretty aggressive view on who is (or is not) an employee vs. an independent contractor.
Indeed, as I’ve discussed before, the Obama-era rule changes might have, in fact, helped level the playing field for some Connecticut employers who have felt that they have had to comply with stricter Connecticut rules which made them less competitive nationwide. With the rollback of some of these rules at the federal level, Connecticut’s higher standards may come back into play more often.
That may be overstating it a bit, but Connecticut employers will have to play catchup to figure out the patchwork of federal and state regulations and the interplay between them.
Perhaps it is more fair to say that things are still shaking out this year for Connecticut employers. The General Assembly session that just ended was more quiet than most. But at a national level, employers shouldn’t be too quick to make too many changes because there seems to be many more aspects in flux than in years past.
The only thing I’ll predict for the next six months is that we have all the ingredients in place for a wild roller coaster ride with more changes than we’ve seen in some time.
So buckle up. Things are just getting interesting.