What to Expect in 2017!

Each year I write a blog in January about what we expect to see in the New Year.  Last year was such a strong year for us that we are very optimistic about what 2017 will bring.  With that, it’s always challenging to predict what will happen in the future and this year promises to keep us all guessing.

Looking at last year’s predictions, we got the minimum wage increase right (some might say that was a given and it probably was). We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that it is going to happen again.  Effective on January 1st, the minimum wage rate in Michigan increased to $8.90.   Make certain that you are in compliance.  We didn’t see the court injunction for the FLSA changes and, with many our customers, spent a lot of time preparing for a change that didn’t happen.

We couldn’t talk about 2016 without mentioning the Presidential race.  After all, it was one of the most unpredictable aspects of 2017.   With a Republican President and congressional majority, we think it is likely to result in some significant policy changes in 2017.

Here are some key HR areas to watch:

  • FLSA – We think these changes are dead in the water. What we did learn is that even without the change in the salary requirement, many jobs were misclassified as exempt. If you aren’t certain call us or you can use the DOL resources located here:  http://webapps.dol.gov/elaws/whd/flsa/overtime/menu.html
  • The Affordable Care Act – Republicans have long promised to repeal this legislation. President-elect Trump has promised to repeal it on “Day one.”  What will happen next is not clear.
  • Hate incidents – Reports of these have spiked. Typically the Michigan Department of Civil Rights receives 5-10 hate related complaints per year.  Between November 8th and December 5th of 2016, the MDCR received 65 reports of hate related incidents.  We’re hoping that this is a trend that doesn’t continue, but employers will need to be vigilant about protecting their employees.
  • Fewer Regulations – The new administration has promised fewer regulations on business, so it may be simpler for HR people to be compliant going forward.

Whatever 2017 has in store for you and your business, the team here at HRM will keep you posted on the latest developments and we wish you an exciting and prosperous New Year!

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