PLDO Attorneys William E. O’Gara and Matthew C. Reeber Co-Author Report on "Hot-Button Employment Law Issues for 2017" in a Post-Election Environment

Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West LLC (PLDW) veteran employment lawyers and litigators, William E. O’Gara and Matthew C. Reeber, address post-presidential election employment law issues that are expected to affect employers in 2017 and beyond in an article published in the December edition of the Rhode Island Small Business Journal entitled, Elections Have Consequences: Hot-Button Employment Law Issues for 2017.

"Undoubtedly, a Trump administration will change the landscape of employment law in the U.S.," said Attorney O’Gara. "All indications are that the administrative agencies like the Department of Labor will be more restrained and the direction of the NLRB is bound to change. Although there is uncertainty, employers should be vigilant about certain issues highlighted in the article as we enter a new political environment with President-elect Trump and a Republican Congress."

Among the more controversial National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) policy changes employers are cautioned to pay attention to are the possibility of returning to a pre-Obama union organizing process ("Quickie Elections"), a re-examination of the NLRB’s expanded jurisdiction and a roll-back of the "persuaders rule," which now requires employers to disclose information regarding expert advising during union organizing.

Another area addressed in detail in the article is wage and hour laws. On November 22, 2016, a Federal District Court Judge issued a temporary restraining order that blocked implementation of the U.S. Department Labor’s (DOL) amended rules that increased the minimum salary a white collar exempt employee must be paid from $23,660.00 to $47,476.00 in order to be exempt from overtime requirements. With the Trump administration, it appears unlikely that the DOL will ultimately make the proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime exemptions.

"Stay informed," advises Attorney Reeber. "Preparing your organization properly will be key to transitioning smoothly from the last eight years of the Obama administration to the next four years with President-elect Trump and a new Secretary of Labor."

Attorney O'Gara leads the firm's employment and litigation teams. He is a highly respected labor and employment law practitioner with a significant depth of experience handling diverse matters before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including the Rhode Island Commission on Human Rights and the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination. With over 25 years of experience, Attorney O'Gara's diverse practice includes defending wrongful termination and discrimination claims, contract negotiations and matters of union representation. He routinely represents employers in matters ranging from sexual harassment to retirement issues, and provides mediation services to resolve disputes and avoid costly litigation.

Attorney Reeber’s employment law practice includes handling numerous matters arising under state and federal anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation statutes, wage and hour statutes, whistleblower statutes, family and medical leave statutes, unemployment compensation statutes and claims for wrongful termination. As part of his practice, Attorney Reeber represents clients before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. For the past six years, he has been named a New England Rising Star by Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers, a distinction that recognizes the top 2.5 percent of New England lawyers under the age of forty or those in practice for ten years or less.

If you have questions about employment law issues and how your organization may best prepare for the new administration, contact attorneys O’Gara or Reeber, at 401-824-5100 or email Attorney O’Gara at [email protected] or Attorney Reeber at [email protected] To learn more about PLDW, visit or follow us on Twitter (@pldwllc) and stay up-to-date with the firm’s activities on LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook.

About Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West LLC

The attorneys and staff at Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West LLC (PLDW) are committed to delivering cost-effective solutions for their clients as well as supporting the community in a meaningful way. Many of the lawyers at PLDW lawyers were formerly members of international law firms and are trained in multiple disciplines including the areas of corporate and business law, special masterships, government relations and legislative strategies, municipal infrastructure, civil litigation, real estate development and commercial lending, nonprofit law, health care, white collar defense, estate planning, probate and trust litigation. The core values of integrity, quality services and responsiveness are stressed each day at PLDW. For more information, visit