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Presidential Consequences: How is the Next President Likely to Impact Compensation

What a decade it’s been for pay in politics! Under President Obama’s administration, we saw changes to EEO reporting, contractor rules, minimum wage, FLSA, and equal pay laws. While the Executive branch of the US Government doesn’t drive everything to do with compliance, they do significantly impact which laws are likely to pass swiftly if at all.

There are a million factors to consider when deciding who to vote for, most of which are deeply personal. Today we’re going to cover the professional standpoint that will impact you as a Comp or HR professional.  PayScale has taken the liberty of evaluating both candidate platforms to identify the impact each candidate is likely to have on compensation at your organization.  What follows is a breakdown of stances on the issues made by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and presidential candidate Donald Trump. If you like the Cliff’s Notes version, here is a high level summary: Clinton’s platform supports workers’ rights and small business; Trump’s platform supports deregulation, changing trade agreements, and cutting taxes.

Clinton Trump
Minimum Wage Wants to make the minimum wage a living wage Does not support increasing minimum wage (suggests tax breaks)
FLSA Likely to uphold changes Likely to reverse changes
Pay Equity Laws In support of Pay Equity Laws Does not support policy action
Health Insurance Backs affordable health care  Repeal and replace “Obamacare” with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Paid Family and Medical Leave Supports guaranteed paid family leave Does not support policy action
Business to watch for
  • Manufacturing
  • Clean Energy
  • Small Businesses
  • Caregiving and Services
  • Oil & Gas; Shale Energy; clean coal
  • Federal employees (decrease)
  • Give breaks to companies that share profits with employees
  • Strengthen anti-trust laws and enforcement
  • Strengthen collective bargaining
  • Supports workforce skills and job training
  • Programs to develop youth workers
  • Use tax breaks to support working people
  • Renegotiate or withdraw from NAFTA
  • Withdraw from Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • Call China out as a currency manipulator
  • End Offshoring Act


Stay tuned for more information the rest of this week as we share a deeper dive into the new President’s platforms on the issues.  Later in the week we also plan to visit some of the key comp-related decisions being made at the state and local level around the country.

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What comp-related things are on your local ballot? Comment below.

Mykkah Herner
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brooke birdsongMeaganShirley CyrLiz D'AloiaSam Reeve Recent comment authors
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Criston menz
Criston menz

I see Trump leaving up to the states. He does not strike me as wanting the responsibility of making a national decision, rather delegate each state to make their own pay practices for minimum wages.

Jason Magill
Jason Magill

Locally, we don’t have any employment-related changes on the ballot. However, the national election results are sure to keep things interesting in 2017. With the FLSA, our organization (like most) has been working on some fundamental changes internally in 2016 to ensure compliance with the changes going into effect next month. Luckily, we’re not seeing NEARLY the impact of many other local organizations. However, it’s frustrating to have changes going on when they are more than likely going to be overturned. With the Affordable Care Act, we have spent MUCH time and effort to comply with the law and prepare… Read more »

Liz D\'Aloia
Liz D\'Aloia

I think we can expect less funding for, and enforcement from, the OFCCP, EEOC, and DOL. Instead they will focus on high dollar class action opportunities.

Shirley Cyr
Shirley Cyr

There are known unknowns and unknown unknowns – heard this today and am sticking with it!


I think this will continue to be an area that gains more national debate and discussion. Especially if Trump does what is assumed and leaves it up to the individual states. Expect this to be a trending topic in the media.

brooke birdsong

I think that the FLSA injunction was purely a political move (whether or not I agree with it) and it’s likely the beginning of many changes areas that impact both compensation and benefits. The question now is how flexible will organizations need to be to not only implement but prepare for them both from a financial and resource perspective. One initiative that I have recommended to our leadership at Associa is to pull out our change management training materials and polish up on those soft skills to help us shoulder through the “unknowns” to come.

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