Fall Outlook: Midterm Elections Hold Key to Long-Term Outlook for Critical HR Policy Issues

August 29, 2018

As we head into the first midterm elections of the Trump era, and as a break in the Congressional logjam looks increasingly unlikely, potential Democrat control of one or more houses of Congress will shape many—if not most—of the issues on our agenda.

Should Democrats gain control of the House, ideas not too long ago considered far-left, such as a single-payer health care system, jobs for all, and universal basic income, may get their day in the sun.

  • Looking ahead to the next Congress, these and other policy items may receive floor time if all goes well for Democrats and they can iron out their own ideological differences.

  • Continued gridlock: For now, the trench warfare-style of legislating will continue on most major issues and may take even deeper root if Democrats win the House.  This will continue to hamper important health care, immigration, employment, and labor policy conversations on Capitol Hill.

Back to the future: Attempts to lock in the employment relationship, such as California's new ABC employment test, will continue to proliferate in many states.  Meanwhile, California's new data privacy law reflects increasing efforts by legislators at the state and local levels that could introduce a whole new level of workplace regulation.

  • Employers creating solutions: An exciting new Association initiative seeks to shed light on a confusing and crowded recruiting software marketplace.

Executive compensation issues continue to churn:  Newly issued IRS guidance on the tax deductibility of executive compensation, intense political focus on share buybacks, and an upcoming SEC Roundtable on the proxy process show that the latter half of 2018 will be an exciting time—for better or for worse—on the executive compensation front. 

Workplace regulation issues dominated by gender equity concerns:  Regardless of which party controls Congress, sexual harassment and gender pay equity issues will continue to generate policymaker attention at the state and local level, if not in Congress.