That's very unfortunate considering those with mandatory pass/fail can now just relax and basically pass the course with a D while the rest of us at optional pass/fail schools are pressured to take grades. Pretty shocking that employers would think negatively of a 2L student with a B+ avg who has 1 semester pass/failed.
As shown by the 2016 US election, you can do very well for yourself, if you (i) are shameless, (ii) slap your name on any surface that's for sale, and (iii) operate in an environment where regulators fail to both create space for fair competition and adequately protect the public.
Of course, the personal cost is the respect of your peers. To anyone who doesn't care about that, enjoy your very nice house and whatever else you choose to buy.
Yes, in my opinion, employers will almost certainly draw an adverse inference if someone takes a pass in an optional pass/fail system. I was speaking with a colleague today and firms are apparently already strongly recommending to students that they opt to receive their grades.