While the vast majority of federal contractors play by the rules, every year tens of thousands of American workers are denied overtime wages, not hired or paid fairly because of their gender or age, or have their health and safety put at risk by corporations contracting with the federal government that cut corners. Taxpayer dollars should not reward corporations that break the law, so today President Obama is cracking down on federal contractors who put workers' safety and hard-earned pay at risk.
As part of this Year of Action, the President will sign an Executive Order that will require prospective federal contractors to disclose labor law violations and will give agencies more guidance on how to consider labor violations when awarding federal contracts. Although many contractors already play by the rules, and federal contracting offers already must assess a contractor's record of integrity, these officers still may not necessarily know about companies' workplace violations. The new process is also structured to encourage companies to settle existing disputes, like paying back wages. And finally, the Executive Order also ensures that workers are given the necessary information each pay period to verify the accuracy of their paycheck and workers who may have been sexually assaulted or had their civil rights violated get their day in court by putting an end to mandatory arbitration agreements at corporations with large federal contracts.
By cracking down on federal contractors who break the law, the President is helping ensure that all hardworking Americans get the fair pay and safe workplaces they deserve.
v Key Provisions of the Executive Order v
The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order will govern new federal procurement contracts valued at more than $500,000, providing information on companies' compliance with federal labor laws for agencies. We expect the Executive Order to be implemented on new contracts in stages, on a prioritized basis, during 2016. The Department of Labor estimates that there are roughly 24,000 businesses with federal contracts, employing about 28 million workers.
1. Hold Corporations Accountable: Under the terms of the Executive Order, agencies will require prospective contractors to disclose labor law violations from the past three years before they can get a 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. Agencies will also require contractors to collect similar information from many of their subcontractors.
2. Crack Down on Repeat Violators: Contracting officers will take into account only the most egregious violations, and each agency will designate a senior official as a Labor Compliance Advisor to provide consistent guidance on whether contractors' actions rise to the level of a lack of integrity or business ethics. This advisor will support individual contracting officers in reviewing disclosures and consult with the Department of Labor. The Executive Order will ensure that the worst actors, who repeatedly violate the rights of their workers and put them in danger, don't get contracts and thus can't delay important projects and waste taxpayer money.
3. Promote Efficient Federal Contracting: Federal agencies risk poor performance by awarding contracts to companies with a ...
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