The Trump administration is changing many rules and acts that affect the quality of life of Americans and anyone else living or working in the United States. The administration has systematically embarked on reforming laws that affect labor, health and safety, consumer, and environmental protection. Below are the most important changes that people need to monitor.
1. Worker Protection
Fair Wages. In August 2017, the Trump administration suspended the EEO-1 pay data collection rule. The rule mandated employers with more than 100 employees to submit pay data records basing on race and gender. In May the same year, the white house proposed a merger between two agencies that prevent employee discrimination. However, businesses opposed this move.
Overtime Pay. The Trump administration also claimed that 4.2 million workers in the U.S. were undeserving of overtime pay. In many jobs, employees who work overtime (more than 40 hours a week) are to be paid 150% of the hourly wage or “time and a half” if they earn less than a certain annual income. In 2016, the Obama administration had raised this threshold from an annual income of $23,000 to $47, 479 but, a court ruled against the directive. In September 2017, the Trump administration announced it wouldn’t fight the court’s decision. This means that a good number of workers are not guaranteed extra pay if they work overtime.
Retirement accounts for workers. In April 2017, the Trump administration blocked a law that required the federal government to help local municipalities in establishing retirement accounts for low wage private workers.
2. Health and Safety
Expose to cancer-causing agents. The Department of Labor (D.O.L) has delayed the enforcement of rules that limit worker exposure to cancer-causing agents such as beryllium. The Dept. also failed to pass a rule that would necessitate the use of acceptable levels of crystalline silica in the building and construction industry.
Workplace accidents. Under President Trump, The D.O.L suspended a law requiring companies with over ten employees to electronically report injuries at the workplace. Such data would have been availed to the public via government websites.
Unsafe Companies securing government contracts. In March 2017, the Trump administration changed the Fair and Safe Workplaces rule which mandated businesses to disclose and correct violations of labors laws.
3. Consumer Protection
Financial advisers and clients’ interests. In August 2017, the Labor Department announced its plan to delay the enforcement of a section of the fiduciary law that touched on “best interests”. The section had required financial advisers to propose investments that gave the clients good returns and not investments that profited them.
Rules protecting senior citizens. The Trump administration has proposed to change the Obama rule that allowed senior citizens in nursing homes or their families to sue for abuse, replacing it with arbitration. This means that public records of abuse would no longer e available in nursing homes.
Availing Guns to the mentally ill. One of the most controversial changes made by the Trump administration was revoking of a rule that illegalized the sale of guns to people with mental illnesses which made them fail to manage their financial affairs.
4. Environmental Protection
Polluting drinking Water. In 2015, the 1972 Clean Water Act was amended by the Obama administration to specify the wetlands and waters under protection. However, the Trump government has proposed rectifying the 2015 amendments, and such a move could allow for more pollutants into wetlands and waterways.
Polluting the air. In March 2017, the Trump administration repelled the Clean Power Plan Act that had enacted by the Obama administration. The Act required states to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.
Global Warming. President Trump has made it clear that he intends to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement, which aimed at controlling global warming. This is worrying considering other major economies have reaffirmed their commitment to the agreement.