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2017 Workplace Updates and Potential Changes

12/16/2016

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Potential Changes with Trump's Presidency

With Donald Trump recently elected as our new president, business owners and employees alike are anxious to see what changes he will implement into the workplace. A few potential changes Trump has suggested are tax reduction, maternity support, workplace childcare, and nationwide E-Verify.

Regulatory and Tax Reform

One of the first things Trump plans to do is to reform all regulations. Federal agencies issue an increasing number of final rules and regulations, and, according to Trump, this “overregulation costs our economy over $2 trillion.” A temporary pause would be placed on new regulations, and old regulations would be reviewed to see if any should be repealed. Each federal agency would be required to put together a record of all regulations it imposes on businesses and rank them from the most to least critical for health and safety. In hopes to facilitate business growth and reduce unemployment, Trump also plans to reduce the tax rate on businesses from 35% to 15%.

Maternity Leave and Childcare 

Trump is pushing to include six weeks of paid maternity leave with unemployment insurance. Average benefits would be about $300 per week, and the cost could be offset by adjusting the existing unemployment insurance system. However, this plan only applies to new mothers and would not apply to other forms of leave covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act. Trump is also encouraging increased incentives for employers who provide childcare at work. In addition to the 25% tax credit for facility expenditures and 10% tax credit for resource and referral costs given to licensed onsite daycare centers, families will also be able to fully deduct the average cost of childcare from their taxes (even including stay-at-home parents) and enroll in tax-free dependent savings accounts for their children. 

Nationwide E-Verify

To urge compliance with workforce immigration laws, Trump is encouraging a nationwide use of E-Verify, an employment eligibility verification system, by all employers. A national use of the E-Verify system will ensure that all businesses operate on a level playing field and cannot be held liable for hiring an illegal alien. 

Prevailing Wage Increase for H-1B Visas

Trump is calling for an increase in the prevailing wages for H-1B visas (visas for positions that require specialized knowledge). Before making visas available, Trump favors the requirement to hire American workers first. Increasing the prevailing wage for H-1B could help improve current issues with the H-1B system, however, some businesses may face challenges in accessing proper talent, especially in the science, technology, and engineering fields, due to the restriction on hiring American workers first. 

These are just some of the possible changes that could happen in the workplace for 2017. In order to guarantee your success, be sure to stay informed and up to date with any alterations taking place. If you have questions about preparing for these changes or anything else, don’t hesitate to contact your local LBMC Employment Partners representative.