Much has been written about the effect that the GOP victories in the fall elections will have on Human Resource Processes and Programs. Most conclude that although there has been much bravado about repealing the Affordable Care Act and other perceived liberal laws, the reality is that congress does not have the votes to override a presidential veto and it will be business as usual. I tend to disagree.
I believe President Obama has given a clear signal that he intends to accomplish his political agenda utilizing those powers given constitutionally to the executive branch. The Department of Labor controls the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, The National Labor Relations Board, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. How these agencies establish and enforce policies can have dramatic impact on the workplace.
President Obama has also included Immigration reform as an area where he will utilize executive orders to initiate the changes he sees are consistent with his party platform. This, essential to set the stage for the 2016 Presidential Elections, will also have significant impact on Human Resource practitioners for the next two years.
I might point out that four conservative states (Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota) passed increases to their state minimum wages during the fall elections. Is it possible that a Republican initiated Federal Minimum Wage Increase could pass? A conservative federal congress may enact just such legislation as they position themselves for the 2016 national elections. Fearing a 2016 move to the left, being seen in a more moderate light might be perceived as a strategic step to many Republican representatives.
I predict that the HR profession over the next two years will continue to see the changes we have always come to expect. It is what keeps our jobs so interesting.