President Obama signed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order last year, but new developments with the order took place last week with the release of proposed rules to implement the order from the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, and guidance for compliance from the Labor Department. Learn more about the executive order, as well as the recent developments, in this week’s blog.
Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order
The executive order was signed by President Obama last year and requires that federal contracts disclose any labor law violations when they submit bids for federal contracts. This includes labor law violations that are currently pending. This applies to both prime and subcontractors, and applies only for awards for contracts in excess of $500,000. Contracting officers then consider the violations, along with any mitigating circumstances, in the awards process.
In addition, “The executive order requires that firms provide workers and independent contractors every pay period with information on how they are paid. And agencies must create procedures to help companies comply, including an arbitration process for disputes,” according to Government Executive.
Last week, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council released a regulations proposal for implementation of the order, and the Labor Department released guidance for compliance. In a blog post, the Labor Department elaborated on how the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order “will better inform federal procurement decisions,” and noted that “Taxpayer dollars should not reward corporations that break the law, and contractors who meet their responsibilities should not have to compete against those who do not.”
Contractors had a number of criticisms of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. The Professional Services Council noted that it treats pending allegations of labor law violations the same as those that have been adjudicated, as well as cases in which no guilt was found. The council noted that “Adding additional penalties to the ones already prescribed in law is tantamount to double jeopardy…And adding them only for contractors is a double standard.”
The proposals are now subject to a 60-day comment period after which they will be reevaluated.
DHA Group, Inc.
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