Whether the next president of the United States is Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, he or she will likely introduce policies around employment and labor issues which will impact employers nationwide. Generally speaking, the Republican Party will take positions more in alignment with employers’ interests, while the Democratic nominee carries the banner for labor. But where do the 2016 Republican and Democrat candidates for the highest office stand on workplace issues?
The Clinton agenda may look very similar to what has come under President Barack Obama, with Clinton voicing support for raising the federal minimum wage, the recently passed overtime rules and concepts such as equal pay and paid family leave.
Trump—an unorthodox Republican candidate—has been harder to pin down, but he has spoken out on lowering business taxes, bringing back manufacturing jobs, making it harder to hire foreign workers and implementing a nationwide E-Verify system.
As the presidential race enters its final month, here’s a brief rundown of the candidates’ positions on workplace issues.
The Trump campaign stated that the candidate supports raising the federal minimum wage to $10 an hour but believes states “should set the minimum wage as appropriate for their state.”
Clinton wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour but supports states and municipalities raising it to $15. She has said that if Congress presented her with a bill raising the federal wage to $15 an hour, she would gladly sign it.
Clinton favors the recently issued, controversial revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that will make an additional 4.2 million employees eligible for overtime pay by raising the exempt salary threshold to $47,476. The changes take effect on Dec. 1, 2016. She has also indicated that she intends to strengthen regulations protecting workers from independent contractor misclassification and wage theft.
Trump opposes the revised FLSA regulations, especially for small businesses, and intends to carve out exemptions for those employers. The Republican platform advocates rolling back the changes and reforming the FLSA to offer more flexibility to employers.
Trump recently unveiled a plan for six weeks of paid maternity leave for mothers who do not already receive leave from their employer. He said that it could be funded by combing through the unemployment insurance system for fraud. Trump also proposed modifying the tax code to allow working parents to deduct child care expenses from their income taxes, expand deductions for stay-at-home parents and create dependent care savings accounts.
Clinton advocates expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to include up to 12 weeks of paid leave for workers to care for a new child or a seriously ill family member. Workers would receive at least two-thirds of their current wages up to a threshold. She has also said that she would like to expand the FMLA to all workers, regardless of employer size and provide seven days of paid sick leave for all workers.
All of this would be paid for by “asking the very wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share of taxes,” she said.
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