Impact of The Midterms

With Congress divided, no clear mandate for either party, and a wealth of new faces at all levels of government, it is imperative for business leaders and HR to proactively welcome the incoming Congress, and to educate new legislators about all matters work.  

Emily M. Dickens, SHRM Corporate Secretary and Chief of Staff

        Let’s Get to Work      

Different voices can effectively contribute to national policy that benefits all citizens. There are now a myriad of opportunities for us to unite those voices on issues that impact the 116 million people represented by SHRM’s over 300,000 members. 

With divided power at the federal level, the states will become more active on issues that impact work, the worker and the workplace. 

SHRM-supported policy solutions are poised to move workplaces forward. We call on Congress to expand employer-provided educational assistance to cover student loans and pass the Workflex in the 21st Century Act to provide paid leave and workflex options to all employees. 

The World of Work Is Rapidly Changing

New Democratic majorities in ME, NY, NM, NV, CO and IL will pursue workplace policies in 2019, including mandated leave and predictable scheduling.

Issues On The Table

Educational Assistance

  • Providing tax-free educational assistance is an important tool employers use to attract, maintain and build a skilled workforce.
  • Employer-provided educational assistance is critical to addressing the skills gap, and strengthening this important benefit is supported by both Democrats and Republicans.
  • SHRM will continue to advocate for legislation to expand this important benefit to include student loan repayment.

Workflex and Paid Leave

  • Record numbers of women and young people helped propel Democrats into the House majority – two groups that could benefit most from congressional action on paid leave and more workflex options.
  • While House Democrats will likely champion paid sick leave mandates and a social insurance program for paid family leave, these proposals face significant hurdles in the Senate.
  • No matter what happens, SHRM will continue to advocate for the Workflex in the 21st Century Act to provide both paid leave and workflex options – a modern proposal that benefits workers, work and the workplace.


Workplace Immigration

  • In a split Congress, HR must put its stamp on issues like access to talent, protecting U.S. workers, closing the skills gap and the necessary tools to hire a legal workforce.
  • While comprehensive reform, DACA and border security funding will make headlines next year, the Trump administration will focus on visa enforcement and regulations that could restrict visa usability.
  • SHRM will advocate for access to global talent for immigration-compliant employers while protecting U.S. workers, an efficient and predictable immigration system, and a fully electronic and integrated I-9 and E-Verify system.

Workplace Equity

  • House legislation will likely focus on gender equity including pay equity and prohibitions on the use of salary history in hiring. Pressure from #MeToo will lead to Democratic proposals to limit the use of arbitration and nondisclosure agreements.
  • We will likely see the Employment Non-Discrimination Act focused on sexual orientation and gender identity revived. This presents a golden opportunity for HR to bring solutions around positive workplace cultures to the discussion.

How Do You See the Midterms Impacting the Workplace?

Let us know using the hashtags:
#WeAreWork and #Midterms2018

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