Girardi | Keese

Employees Face 'Freeze' under Trump Administration

The Trump administration has just instituted a freeze on hiring of federal employees, as the Washington Post reports, with the exception of military service members. This action comes via executive order and is in line with what Trump said he'd do while campaigning, which was "drain the swamp." The Post quotes Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer: "We've got to respect the American taxpayer."

On one hand, a hiring freeze would appear to tamp down the cost of government, which may well save taxpayer dollars. On the other, "You don't freeze into place what is already not what you want," said Partnership for Public Service CEO Max Stier. Moreover, the Government Accountability Office has indicated, after analyzing past freezes, that they end up costing more, not less.

The outcome of this particular freeze is far from certain, though. The Post reports that some lawmakers still hadn't even seen Trump's signed executive order, so its substance and scope remains unknown. In addition, Trump can only do so much, as he will need Congressional assistance to make big changes, and the executive order itself may have plenty of exceptions.

Not just a hiring freeze, but a freeze on overtime, too.

In December, the Post reported on the new overtime rule, which was set to go into effect that month, but had since disappeared into legal limbo after a federal court in Texas issued a temporary order to halt rollout. The rule would have adjusted the overtime threshold from $23,660 to $47,476, allowing more workers to earn overtime pay. However, with the Trump administration at the helm, this new rule isn't likely to get the advocacy it needs to survive.

Read more:

Trump freezes hiring of many federal workers

Trump era confronts organized labor with gravest crisis in decades

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