Although Senators John McCain and Barack Obama disagree on many things, they both pledge “change is on the way” if they are elected. This campaign pledge about “change” is usually interpreted to refer to foreign policy and economic issues, but many understandably wonder whether these changes might also apply to employment law generally, and whether there are substantive differences in the employment law changes each candidate might make.
At least one prominent employer seemed to think this election might impact federal employment law. If recent newspaper headlines are to be believed, a major retailer held meetings to discourage employees from voting for a particular Presidential candidate due to concerns about pending employment-related legislation. The retailer denied the allegation and the story has not resurfaced.
Nonetheless, is there any validity to this employer’s apparent concern about this election having significant employment-related consequences? With this question in mind, this article briefly highlights some of the more significant pending employment legislation, identifies the candidates’ stated or likely positions on each bill, and projects the likelihood of each bill being enacted by either new administration. This article is not being written from a particular ideological viewpoint or to sway votes, but simply to provide an “election guidebook” of sorts, as it relates to the potential changes in employment-related laws. And, as demonstrated by the recent overwhelming bi-partisan support for passage of the recent ADA Amendments Act (S.3406), which both Presidential candidates supported, there clearly are areas where both campaigns are in agreement.