In Focus: Obama Legacy Includes ACA, New Overtime Rule, LGBT Protections

By Dana Wilkie Jan 19, 2017

President Barack Obama entered office during the Great Recession and is leaving the nation's economy—by many measures—better than he found it. During his tenure, he issued executive orders to protect diverse groups of federal employees and called on private businesses to do the same. Now his landmark piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act, faces being repealed and replaced, and President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to undo many of Obama's executive orders.

Obama's legacy: the promises, shortcomings and fights to come
Eight years after Obama's inauguration, stock markets are at record highs; the unemployment rate, at 4.6 percent, is the lowest it has been in a decade; and house prices have risen 23 percent, recovering from their biggest crash in living memory. (The Guardian) 

HR Issues at Forefront of Political Campaigns, Outgoing Administration's Agenda
As Obama leaves the White House, employers and HR professionals will be looking to understand how federal legislative, regulatory and judicial decisions will impact key workplace issues such as paid-family-leave mandates, expanded overtime eligibility, and regulations affecting the use of contract and contingent workers. (SHRM Online) 

Workplace-related executive orders at risk under Trump
President-elect Donald Trump's vow to reverse some of Obama's executive orders could affect diversity programs and employee protections for federal contractors and employees. About 24,000 companies have contracts with the government, though not all employees work on projects, according to the Labor Department. (Bloomberg)

Experts Predict ACA Repeal-and-Replace Prospects
Trump and Republican congressional leaders have announced repeatedly their intention to repeal the Affordable Care Act once Obama leaves office. How that will play out has been the topic of speculation by experts in the field. (SHRM Online)

Top 5 Immigration Headlines of 2016
In 2016, the White House tried to improve employment-based immigration through the release of a new "smart" Form I-9 and by finalizing regulations for foreign post-graduate student workers and skilled immigrants awaiting green cards. The year also had its share of disruption for workforce planners following litigation around Obama's deferred deportation programs and heightened interest in Trump's plans for business immigration. (SHRM Online) 

Democrats Pledge a Fight to Restore Overtime Rule
Dec. 1 was the day that the Department of Labor's new overtime rule was to take effect, doubling from $23,660 to $47,476 the salary threshold under which employees must receive time-and-a-half pay for working more than 40 hours in a given week. But the rule was halted on Nov. 22 when a district court judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction(SHRM Online)

Presidential Order Protects LGBT Workers at Federal Contractors

Federal contractors are now prohibited from discriminating against workers and job applicants based on sexual orientation and gender identity, under an executive order that Obama signed July 21, 2014. The order will bring new requirements for federal contractor employers to follow. (SHRM Online) 

Obama: U.S. Workplace Policies 'Straight Out of "Mad Men"'
Last summer, Obama on Tuesday delivered a scathing review of U.S. workplace policies—depicting them as insulting and discriminatory toward women and in need of a major overhaul. (SHRM Online) 

Obama Administration Targets Noncompetes and Wage Collusion
The White House last fall announced steps to address wage collusion and the overuse of noncompetition agreements in the workplace. (SHRM Online)


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