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How Politics Affect Human Resources

Several hot button human resources topics have arisen during the 2016 presidential election. The candidates are discussing expanding overtime eligibility, paid family-leave mandates and even taxes on high-end health plans.

As part of domestic policy decisions, human resources issues are bound to play a role in the upcoming election.

  • Increasing Overtime Pay – President Obama called for increasing overtime pay in June 2015. Generally, most Democrats favor this, while Republicans are in opposition. Under current federal regulations, employees that earn up to $455 a week may qualify for overtime pay. President Obama’s proposal would increase this to $970 a week. If this change passes, more than 5 million U.S. workers could see a significant increase in their take-home pay. Opponents’ say that these regulations will hurt companies, resulting in layoffs and reduced hours.
  • Paid Family Leave – President Obama is calling for government legislation that will mandate paid sick leave, including paid maternity leave for all employees. The parties are split on this subject.
  • The Cadillac Tax – Relating to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this provision will take effect in 2020. It includes a 40-percent nondeductible excise tax on all employer-sponsored health plans that offer benefits of over $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families. Nearly all candidates oppose this tax.

While on the campaign trail, candidates have voiced their opinions about the aforementioned human resources issues. So how are they weighing in on these concerns?

  •  Hillary Clinton – Hillary Clinton is backing President Obama’s policy decisions about increasing overtime pay. She also supports the ACA, but is against the Cadillac tax, and would like to see the Family and Medical Leave Act allow families up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for new children or family member’s health needs. As her campaign continues, Clinton will be announcing more details related to paid family-leave.
  • Donald Trump – Donald Trump supports raising the minimum wage and higher taxes on the wealthy. Trump is keeping his options open about paid family-leave. He has stated, “Well it’s something that’s being discussed, I think we have to keep our country very competitive, so you have to be careful of it. But certainly there are a lot of people discussing it.” Trump supports repealing the ACA and has not discussed the Cadillac tax at length.

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