There is no question that President Trump will have significant impact on various federal labor and employment issues. First, he will be nominating (at least) one individual to the U.S. Supreme Court. That pick could certainly be the deciding vote in a number of issues, and even whether a case is heard. Additionally, President Trump has nominated Andrew Puzder for Secretary of Labor. Puzder is currently the CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc., which owns and operates Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. His confirmation hearing, however, first set for January 11, 2017, has been delayed again to February 2.
There is no doubt that any Trump nominee will run a very different Department of Labor than that under the Obama Administration. Wage and hour laws are not going to magically change overnight, but employers may see operational, investigation, and guidance/opinion letters start to change first. For example, the new DOL Administrator could chose to not pursue the Texas overtime regulation appeal pending before the Fifth Circuit, and then start issuing guidance letters which interpret the rules and regulations differently than the earlier administration.
Additionally, when the Obama administration came to office, the DOL promptly retracted numerous opinion letters which they decided were not mailed in time – “Some of the posted opinion letters, as designated by asterisk, were not mailed before January 21, 2009. While the Wage and Hour Division is making these letters available to the requestor and to the public, the agency has decided to simultaneously withdraw these letters for further consideration. A final response to these opinion letter requests may be provided in the future in an Administrator Interpretation issued in accordance with the guidance provided in the Administrator Interpretations section of the Final Rulings and Opinion Letters Web page.” No shock here, but the WHD never finalized these responses and they’ve been sitting since 2009. Accordingly, I would not be surprised if they are promptly finalized now.
That being said…forget not, we are in Minnesota. In the world of wage and hour law (or even employment law for that matter), the more employee-friendly rules and laws apply. Thus, Minnesota employers will see far less local impact than a more employer-friendly state.