Editor's Notebook

Taking a Pass on Fantasy Football to Geek Out on Clinton and Trump

Sure I’m locked in a battle to remain undefeated. But there are relevant workplace issues on the docket tonight.


I have Drew Brees and Mark Ingram going tonight in my fantasy football league, and if they do anything at all I’m looking at topping KevinTheDude to start the season 3-0.

Not bad for a rookie in this fantasy thing if I do say so myself. It’s fresh and new, and, you’d think that I would be riveted to Falcons vs. Saints on Monday Night Football tonight.

But Brees and Ingram will have to toss and tote the rock without me. Instead I’ll be tuning in tonight’s initial Clinton-Trump presidential debate, largely because I geek out way more on politics than following pro football in an entirely new and somewhat perverted way.

WF_WebSite_BlogHeaders-10I just saw that ahead of tonight’s Clinton-Trump gabfest, stalwart HR association WorldatWork sent an open letter to both campaigns outlining needed policy changes regarding total rewards.

Read: Clinton Vs. Trump: The Workforce Winner Is …

WorldatWork’s letter is timely, extremely relevant to employer concerns and addresses crucial workplace issues that unfortunately have taken a backseat to the bloviating that’s been exhaled from both camps.

Here are the points made by the folks at WorldatWork:

Compensation: Protecting Millions of Exempt Employees. WorldatWork supports repealing the automatic salary test indexing requirements included in the U.S. Department of Labor’s new Fair Labor Standards Act overtime-pay regulations. According to our analyses, the number of employees who are currently exempt from the regulations will drop dramatically at the first indexing update just three years away, sending this long-established professional and managerial category to near extinction during the next 15 years. Millions of midlevel employees could lose their benefits and workplace flexibility options. This new requirement has the potential to radically change the structure of the American workforce and must be repealed. WorldatWork supports all legislative efforts to address this indexing threat to the nation’s exempt-employee classification.

Compensation: Supporting a Modern Mobile Workplace. We urge you to join WorldatWork and support legislation that would help simplify a patchwork of complicated nonresident state income-tax laws that are making administrative burdens even worse on employers and employees who travel for business purposes outside of their states. We support the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act (S.B. 386/H.R. 2315) because it provides consistency for reporting and withholding across the 50 states and reduces the administrative burden on everyone. Currently, each state has different tax filing requirements for individuals that travel to the state for business purposes, making a federal solution the only realistic option.

Protecting Employer-Sponsored Health Care Benefits: The 40 percent excise tax on employer-sponsored health care plans, or the “Cadillac tax,” is a ticking time bomb for employers. While Congress sensibly delayed the tax’s full impact until 2020, the tax needs to be abolished outright. This destructive tax, part of the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, was meant to only target a small percentage of extravagant health care plans. But the tax is now expected to hit millions more Americans and their families’ health care plans. The threat of this tax is already forcing employers to shift more costs to employees who are in-turn incurring higher out-of-pocket expenses. Several pieces of bipartisan legislation accomplish this repeal, each earning WorldatWork’s support. WorldatWork is fully committed to the Alliance to Fight the 40‘s efforts to repeal this tax.

Child Care and Dependent Care Programs: Expanding Access for More Employees. A candidate’s 2016 election platform should recognize modern workplace environments and help employers establish affordable child care and dependent-care programs for their employees. There are a number of easy solutions that a federal candidate can support, such as changing obsolete definitions of eligibility to include dependents and care of elders. We also strongly encourage you to back increasing the 30-year-old limit of $5,000 for dependent-care flexible savings accounts. Significantly increasing this limit will help families facing costly yearly expenses for daycare for their children, help for special needs children or elder care for their parents.

Executive Compensation: Seeking Reporting Accuracy and Fairness. Compensation professionals are seeking a repeal of the CEO pay-ratio requirement found in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Compensation experts are calling this requirement unworkable and extraordinarily expensive, and believe it will not result in any meaningful benefit for shareholders and investors. WorldatWork supports two bills (S.B. 1722/H.R. 414) repealing the law’s requirement to produce this inaccurate median employee statistic.

Given that tonight’s debate topics include health care, the economy and trade, it seems likely that Clinton and Trump will offer some insight into their policies on these topics. But like Brees, Ingram and Monday Night Football for me, I have a sneaking suspicion that workplace issues will take a backseat to hot-button debate topics like domestic terrorism, national security and immigration.

Good for WorldatWork to put these crucial workplace issues before the candidates. And it’s worth asking: Do you think they’re listening?

Rick Bell is the editorial director for Workforce. Comment below or email rbell@workforce.com.

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