A Trump success story

Share this content:
John O'Connor
John O'Connor

President Trump may have struggled mightily to kill Obamacare. But he is clearly enjoying early success in at least one area: labor policy.

And if you happen to be running a long-term care facility, the trade winds here continue to be favorable.

Consider the persuader rule. The measure was introduced last year by the Obama administration as a way to force nursing homes and other employers to report all communication with attorneys and consultants related to unionization efforts.

Operators quickly complained that the decree undermined both the attorney-client privilege and the privacy of consultant relationships ensured by the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act.

In November, a Texas federal court put the order on hold by issuing a permanent injunction. But the Trump administration appears to have its own kind of permanent injunction in mind: In June, the Labor Department called for the rule to be rescinded.

Then there's the National Labor Relations Board. In July, the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved the addition of two Republicans to the panel, which referees labor disputes. Going forward, care to guess whether management or labor will be getting a favorable thumb on the scale?

The Labor Department is also efforting to trim Obama-era plans to expand overtime eligibility. Moreover, the government is now supporting the employers' position in a Supreme Court case on mandatory arbitration agreements that prohibit workers from filing class-action lawsuits.

It's hardly surprising that a Republican White House would adopt a pro-business approach. And few nursing home operators are going to complain.

But there is a certain amount of irony at play here. After all, many of the people who will be negatively affected by these changes happened to vote for Trump. 

To be sure, their investment return may leave a bit to be desired. But as the saying goes, politics makes for strange bedfellows.