The Trump administration has released its 2018 fiscal year budget plan, which begins October 1, 2017, and includes spending and revenue projections for the 2018 to 2027 period. Two items of particular interest to MRA members are:
Paid Parental Leave
President Trump campaigned hard on paid parental leave. His budget would make parental leave mandatory, but not uniform. The budget is light on details and says, "States would be required to provide six weeks of parental leave and the proposal gives states broad latitude to design and finance the program," the administration wrote in its budget. Since 2004, four states—New York, California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island—have enacted programs to provide partial pay to workers taking time off to bond with a new child or care for a seriously ill relative. These laws build upon existing programs to provide partial pay for a worker’s own serious health condition and will likely serve as a model for other states should paid parental leave become mandatory.
OFCCP and EEOC Merger
The budget proposal calls for a $17 million decrease in OFCCP funding and a merger of the agency into the EEOC by the end of FY 2018. The EEOC received a $700,000 reduction in funding. The proposed merger would create one agency to combat employment discrimination and integration of these two agencies would "reduce operational redundancies, promote efficiencies, improve services to citizens, and strengthen civil rights enforcement." However, both business groups and civil rights groups oppose the proposed merger. Therefore, in the face of strong business community opposition to the proposal, the Republicans in the House and Senate are not likely to support the proposal and, thus, Congress will likely not undertake the necessary actions to complete the merger.
Key Takeaway for Members
The proposed budget will go through much iteration and will not be approved by Congress in its current form. However, the large proposed decrease in OFCCP funding seems to signal the desire to cut employees (thus reducing the ability to conduct audits) and potentially field office locations. MRA will closely monitor the budget process and communicate changes to members affecting the workplace, especially if paid parental leave is approved.
Source: Michael Hyatt, HR Government Affairs Director, MRA – The Management Association