10 Executive Orders Trump Vows to Undo That May Hurt Your Career or Paycheck

Competing Trump and Obama merch for sale in D.C., foreshadowing an executive order battle

Competing Trump and Obama merch for sale in D.C., foreshadowing an executive order battle | Mario Tama/Getty Images

America is bracing for President Trump. There’s reason to think we’re in for a rough few years, but there is also reason to hope for the best. Trump won the presidency by promising gains to the average American; to the little guy. If he’s able to do it, that’s a good thing. You may abhor his methods, but if the new administration is able to deliver on some of its promises, many people stand to gain.

His predecessor, President Obama, took aim at many of the same issues. Though he was a rather polarizing figure for much of the past eight years, he’s leaving office quite popular. Obama, too, was ushered in on promises of helping the little guy, along with “hope” and “change.” The main problem, however, was that many people didn’t see those promises come to fruition. Because of that, they opted for a Trump administration.

But Obama made many moves to help the average American during his tenure. He issued orders and directives that aimed at raising pay and helping people find jobs, though we’ve yet to see the full effects of many of them. Trump, as he takes over, has slammed Obama for this apparent inability to make a difference for struggling families. As such, he’s promised to remove a large amount, if not all of Obama’s directives once he takes office.

Obama and the executive order

Over the course of his presidency, Obama signed almost 300 executive orders. This is fewer than some of his predecessors (FDR issued more than 3,700), but still a fairly high number. One of the main reasons he became so fond of the executive order is that he and his Democratic allies in Congress were deadlocked for a good portion of his presidency. He had policies he wanted to push, but Republicans enacted a strategy to stonewall him at every turn.

This is what inspired the famous “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone” remark. He was sending a message to Republicans that if they were not willing to work with Democrats to create new laws, that he would do so himself. And so he did.

The problem, however, is that an executive order can be undone. Again, that’s precisely what Trump has promised to do. But many of Obama’s orders have had positive ramifications for the average American. Protections from discrimination, bumps to minimum wages and overtime, and even job training programs are all in jeopardy if Trump comes through on his promise to unspool all of Obama’s executive orders.

Here are 10 that would have a profound effect on the careers and finances of millions, if Trump follows through.

1. Veterans Employment Initiative

A US Marine Corps veteran (R) shakes hands with Lynda Mims (L), an admissions representative at a construction college

A US Marine Corps veteran (R) shakes hands with Lynda Mims (L), an admissions representative at a construction college | Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

If Trump does spare some of Obama’s orders, it wouldn’t be surprising if this makes it through. This was signed in November of 2009 with the goal of helping more military veterans find jobs, particularly those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The Veterans Employment Initiative has helped boost veteran employment by as much as 7%.

2. Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals With Disabilities

Members of ADAPT, a disability rights group, pass the White House during a protest

Members of ADAPT, a disability rights group, pass the White House during a protest | Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities was issued in 2010. Its goal was to increase recruitment and hiring of Americans with disabilities, of which there are roughly 54 million.

3. Recruiting and Hiring Students and Recent Graduates

Graduates throw their caps in the air

Graduates throw their caps in the air | Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

This is another order with a goal that is more or less self-explanatory. The executive order Recruiting and Hiring Students and Recent Graduates was issued in December of 2010 as a way to increase recruiting and hiring of young people into the federal government. After all, the government provides some of the most recession proof jobs in America.

“The Federal Government must improve its recruiting efforts; offer clear paths to Federal internships for students from high school through post-graduate school; offer clear paths to civil service careers for recent graduates; and provide meaningful training, mentoring, and career-development opportunities,” the order reads.

4. Establishing Minimum Wage For Contractors

lawmakers push for minimum wage

Minimum wage advocates in Washington, D.C. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

This was one of the more high-profile orders Obama issued. Though the Democrats were unsuccessful in raising the federal minimum wage, Obama was able to raise it for federal contractors to $10.10 per hour through the Establishing Minimum Wage For Contractors order.

5. Amendments to Equal Opportunity in the Federal Government

Line of diverse candidates standing under a magnifying glass of a hiring manage

Line of diverse candidates standing under a magnifying glass of a hiring manager | iStock.com/Aleutie

The Amendments to Equal Opportunity in the Federal Government were new rules and revisions to the Equal Employment Opportunity Act. Essentially, these were rules meant to increase workplace diversity and protect workers from discrimination. Obama specifically added protections for “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to protect gay and transgender persons from discriminatory practices.

6. Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors

sick days, file tab with the word employees plus a note with the text sick leaves

Sick days | iStock.com/Olivier Le Moal

Similar to the order raising the minimum wage for federal workers, Obama likewise ordered paid sick leave in 2015. The new rule gives government contractors seven days of paid leave annually.

7. Job-Driven Training for Workers

A man apprenticing in a machine shop

A man apprenticing in a machine shop | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Though not technically an executive order, this Presidential Memorandum issued in 2014 developed a plan to make “federal employment and training programs more job-driven.” The plan aimed at making federal job training and apprenticeships “more focused on imparting relevant skills with job-market value, more easily accessed by employers and job seekers, and more accountable for producing positive employment and earning outcomes for the people they serve.”

8. Student Aid Bill of Rights

Student debt piling up

Student debt piling up | iStock.com

Student debt is a serious and growing issue. Another Presidential Memorandum, the Student Aid Bill of Rights, was issued in 2015 with the goal to allow “access to an efficient and responsive complaint and feedback system that holds loan servicers accountable and promotes transparency, the information and flexibility they need to repay their loan responsibly and avoid default, and protections to ensure that they will be treated fairly even if they struggle to repay their loans.”

9. Updating and Modernizing Overtime Regulations

A figure working overtime

A figure working overtime | iStock.com

Another noteworthy executive order was Updating and Modernizing Overtime Regulations, issued in 2014. It expanded rules regarding overtime pay to those earning certain annual amounts and working certain hours per week.

10. Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information

Two women sharing salary information, and protected from retaliation by executive orders

Two women sharing salary information and protected from retaliation by executive orders | Thinkstock

One way to earn more money? Know your market value — information you can get by discussing pay with colleagues. But employers don’t like that, and often retaliate. This executive order, Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information, intends to put the kibosh on that. Effectively, it’s a pay transparency rule that aims to curb pay discrimination.

Find all presidential actions and executive orders on the White House’s site.

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