HR Administration

It Just Doesn’t Matter (Who the President of the United States Is)

By Staff Report

Nov. 7, 2012

By the time you’re reading this, we’ll either have the same president or a new president, or they’ll still be counting Ohio’s provisional and absentee ballots, and we’ll have no idea who the next president will be. (Update: Ohio was nowhere near as close as anyone thought it might be.)

The president has a large impact on labor and employment policy in this country. If one candidate wins we’ll have universal health care and activist federal agencies. If the other candidate wins we may not (or may) have universal health care, and we will have less activist federal agencies. Who wins also impacts who is appointed to the federal bench, including the Supreme Court, which may be any president’s most lasting legacy.

And yet, whether we have President Barack Obama or President Mitt Romney for the next four years shouldn’t make a lick of difference on how you manage your employees. You should still follow the golden rule. You should still treat employees with dignity and respect. You should still pay employees for all the hours they work. You should still avoid discrimination, and harassment, and retaliation.

Either president will offer his own agenda. The next four years under Obama will look very different to businesses than the next four years under Romney. Be good to your people, and the rest, more often than not, falls into place.

In other words, if you manage your employees reasonably, pragmatically and with decency, it just doesn’t matter, from a day-to-day perspective, who the president is.

Written by Jon Hyman, a partner in the Labor & Employment group of Kohrman Jackson & Krantz. For more information, contact Jon at (216) 736-7226 or

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