5th Executive Order of 2014 Applies to Federal Contractor Employers
For the fifth time in seven months, President Obama issued a new Executive Order that applies to federal contractor employers with new federal procurement contracts valued at more than $500,000. The Executive Order, entitled “Fair Play and Safe Workplaces,” is expected to be implemented on new contracts, in stages, and on a prioritized basis, sometime during 2016. The Department of Labor estimates that there are roughly 24,000 businesses with federal contracts, employing about 28 million workers. The Fact Sheet on this law includes the following.
- Federal agencies will require prospective contractors to disclose labor law violations from the past three years before they can receive a government contract. The 14 covered Federal statutes and equivalent state laws include those addressing wage and hour, safety and health, collective bargaining, family and medical leave, and civil rights protections.
- Federal agencies will also require contractors to collect and report similar information from contracting officers, who will consider the most egregious violations, and each agency will then designate a senior official as a “Labor Compliance Advisor” to advise whether contractors’ actions rise to the level of a “lack of integrity” or “business ethics.” This advisor will review disclosures and consult with the Department of Labor. Repeat offenders will not be allowed to continue to get government contracts.
- “Responsible Businesses” will check a single box on a bid form, indicating that they don’t have a history of labor law violations. Federal contractors with labor law violations will be offered the opportunity to receive early guidance on whether those violations are potentially problematic and remedy any problems by signing an agreement that will be reviewed for compliance.
- Federal contractors must now include on their employees’ paycheck stubs, information concerning their hours worked, overtime hours, pay, and any additions to or deductions made from their pay.
- Pre-dispute arbitration agreements for employment disputes arising out of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (discrimination and retaliation) or from torts related to sexual assault or harassment will now be illegal on federal contracts of $1 million or more (unless valid contracts already exist).
- Interested parties will be invited to participate in listening sessions with Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Department of Labor (DOL), and senior White House officials to share views on how to ensure implementing policies and practices are both fair and effective. DOL and other enforcement agencies, along with the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, will consider this input as they draft regulations and guidance, which will be published for public comment before being finalized.