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.
Clinton has stated that comprehensive immigration reform will be the focus of her first 100 days in office, which would include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers currently in the country without authorization. If Clinton bases her immigration-reform plans on a Democrat-led bill that stalled in 2013, the caps on employment-based H-1B visas and employment-based green cards would be increased. She would also try to restore President Obama’s stalled Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programs, providing work authorization to millions of undocumented workers.
Trump has called for mandating a national E-Verify system to check the employment eligibility of all workers in the country, boosting the prevailing wage for temporary guest worker programs and decreasing the number of employment-based visas issued. According to Trump, he would also seek to reinstate strict enforcement of immigration laws and deport an unknown number of the approximately 11 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the country.
Trump promised to add 25 million jobs to the labor market over the next 10 years by negotiating trade deals that will lead to U.S. jobs; narrowing America’s trade deficit with international competitors; reducing business taxes; and rolling back “job-killing” regulations, like the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. He has promised to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., by reforming trade deals, like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and opposing the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal among twelve Pacific Rim countries. Trump’s tax proposals would lower the federal corporate tax rate to 15 percent and impose a one-time 10 percent penalty on corporate cash held overseas.
Clinton’s jobs creation plans aim to add 10.4 million new jobs during her first term by investing in infrastructure, manufacturing and clean energy; strengthening trade agreements; and cutting business taxes. The Clinton campaign has promised incentives for companies to bring jobs back to the United States and proposed an “exit tax” for companies moving their headquarters abroad. As Obama’s secretary of state, Clinton supported the TPP, although she has since changed her position.
The Clinton agenda lays out plans to increase workforce training programs and offer $1,500 in tax credits to businesses that provide apprenticeships.
Trump has said that he would increase funding for job training and placement services, including incentives, for companies hiring veterans.
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