The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• Barack Obama
Executive Order 13496 - Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labor Laws
January 30, 2009
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, 40 U.S.C. 101 et seq., and in order to ensure the economical and efficient administration and completion of Government contracts, it is hereby ordered that:

Section 1. Policy. This order is designed to promote economy and efficiency in Government procurement. When the Federal Government contracts for goods or services, it has a proprietary interest in ensuring that those contracts will be performed by contractors whose work will not be interrupted by labor unrest. The attainment of industrial peace is most easily achieved and workers' productivity is enhanced when workers are well informed of their rights under Federal labor laws, including the National Labor Relations Act (Act), 29 U.S.C. 151 et seq. As the Act recognizes, "encouraging the practice and procedure of collective bargaining and . . . protecting the exercise by workers of full freedom of association, self-organization, and designation of representatives of their own choosing, for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment or other mutual aid or protection" will "eliminate the causes of certain substantial obstructions to the free flow of commerce" and "mitigate and eliminate these obstructions when they have occurred." 29 U.S.C. 151. Relying on contractors whose employees are informed of such rights under Federal labor laws facilitates the efficient and economical completion of the Federal Government's contracts.

Sec. 2. Contract Clause. Except in contracts exempted in accordance with section 3 of this order, all Government contracting departments and agencies shall, to the extent consistent with law, include the following provisions in every Government contract, other than collective bargaining agreements as defined in 5 U.S.C. 7103(a)(8) and purchases under the simplified acquisition threshold as defined in the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act, 41 U.S.C. 403.

"1. During the term of this contract, the contractor agrees to post a notice, of such size and in such form, and containing such content as the Secretary of Labor shall prescribe, in conspicuous places in and about its plants and offices where employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act engage in activities relating to the performance of the contract, including all places where notices to employees are customarily posted both physically and electronically. The notice shall include the information contained in the notice published by the Secretary of Labor in the Federal Register (Secretary's Notice).

"2. The contractor will comply with all provisions of the Secretary's Notice, and related rules, regulations, and orders of the Secretary of Labor.

"3. In the event that the contractor does not comply with any of the requirements set forth in paragraphs (1) or (2) above, this contract may be cancelled, terminated, or suspended in whole or in part, and the contractor may be declared ineligible for further Government contracts in accordance with procedures authorized in or adopted pursuant to Executive Order [number as provided by the Federal Register] of [insert new date]. Such other sanctions or remedies may be imposed as are provided in Executive Order [number as provided by the Federal Register] of [insert new date], or by rule, regulation, or order of the Secretary of Labor, or as are otherwise provided by law.

"4. The contractor will include the provisions of paragraphs (1) through (3) above in every subcontract entered into in connection with this contract (unless exempted by rules, regulations, or orders of the Secretary of Labor issued pursuant to section 3 of Executive Order [number as provided by the Federal Register] of [insert new date]) so that such provisions will be binding upon each subcontractor. The contractor will take such action with respect to any such subcontract as may be directed by the Secretary of Labor as a means of enforcing such provisions, including the imposition of sanctions for non-compliance: Provided, however, that if the contractor becomes involved in litigation with a subcontractor, or is threatened with such involvement, as a result of such direction, the contractor may request the United States to enter into such litigation to protect the interests of the United States."

Sec. 3. Administration.

(a) The Secretary of Labor (Secretary) shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this order. The Secretary shall adopt such rules and regulations and issue such orders as are necessary and appropriate to achieve the purposes of this order.

(b) Within 120 days of the effective date of this order, the Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking to prescribe the size, form, and content of the notice to be posted by a contractor under paragraph 1 of the contract clause described in section 2 of this order. Such notice shall describe the rights of employees under Federal labor laws, consistent with the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.

(c) Whenever the Secretary finds that an act of Congress, clarification of existing law by the courts or the National Labor Relations Board, or other circumstances make modification of the contractual provisions set out in subsection (a) of this section necessary to achieve the purposes of this order, the Secretary promptly shall issue such rules, regulations, or orders as are needed to cause the substitution or addition of appropriate contractual provisions in Government contracts thereafter entered into.

Sec. 4. Exemptions. (a) If the Secretary finds that the application of any of the requirements of this order would not serve the purposes of this order or would impair the ability of the Government to procure goods or services on an economical and efficient basis, the Secretary may exempt a contracting department or agency or group of departments or agencies from the requirements of any or all of the provisions of this order with respect to a particular contract or subcontract or any class of contracts or subcontracts.

(b) The Secretary may, if the Secretary finds that special circumstances require an exemption in order to serve the national interest, exempt a contracting department or agency from the requirements of any or all of the provisions of section 2 of this order with respect to a particular contract or subcontract or class of contracts or subcontracts.

Sec. 5. Investigation.

(a) The Secretary may investigate any Government contractor, subcontractor, or vendor to determine whether the contractual provisions required by section 2 of this order have been violated.

Such investigations shall be conducted in accordance with procedures established by the Secretary.

(b) The Secretary shall receive and investigate complaints by employees of a Government contractor or subcontractor, where such complaints allege a failure to perform or a violation of the contractual provisions required by section 2 of this order.

Sec. 6. Compliance.

(a) The Secretary, or any agency or officer in the executive branch lawfully designated by rule, regulation, or order of the Secretary, may hold such hearings, public or private, regarding compliance with this order as the Secretary may deem advisable.

(b) The Secretary may hold hearings, or cause hearings to be held, in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, prior to imposing, ordering, or recommending the imposition of sanctions under this order. Neither an order for cancellation, termination, or suspension of any contract or debarment of any contractor from further Government contracts under section 7(b) of this order nor the inclusion of a contractor on a published list of noncomplying contractors under section 7(c) of this order shall be carried out without affording the contractor an opportunity for a hearing.

Sec. 7. Remedies. In accordance with such rules, regulations, or orders as the Secretary may issue or adopt, the Secretary may:

(a) after consulting with the contracting department or agency, direct that department or agency to cancel, terminate, suspend, or cause to be cancelled, terminated, or suspended, any contract, or any portion or portions thereof, for failure of the contractor to comply with the contractual provisions required by section 2 of this order; contracts may be cancelled, terminated, or suspended absolutely, or continuance of contracts may be conditioned upon future compliance: Provided, that before issuing a directive under this subsection, the Secretary shall provide the head of the contracting department or agency an opportunity to offer written objections to the issuance of such a directive, which objections shall include a complete statement of reasons for the objections, among which reasons shall be a finding that completion of the contract is essential to the agency's mission: And provided further, that no directive shall be issued by the Secretary under this subsection so long as the head of the contracting department or agency, or his or her designee, continues to object to the issuance of such directive;

(b) after consulting with each affected contracting department or agency, provide that one or more contracting departments or agencies shall refrain from entering into further contracts, or extensions or other modifications of existing contracts, with any noncomplying contractor, until such contractor has satisfied the Secretary that such contractor has complied with and will carry out the provisions of this order: Provided, that before issuing a directive under this subsection, the Secretary shall provide the head of each contracting department or agency an opportunity to offer written objections to the issuance of such a directive, which objections shall include a complete statement of reasons for the objections, among which reasons shall be a finding that further contracts or extensions or other modifications of existing contracts with the noncomplying contractor are essential to the agency's mission: And provided further, that no directive shall be issued by the Secretary under this subsection so long as the head of a contracting department or agency, or his or her designee, continues to object to the issuance of such directive; and

(c) publish, or cause to be published, the names of contractors that have, in the judgment of the Secretary, failed to comply with the provisions of this order or of related rules, regulations, and orders of the Secretary.

Sec. 8. Reports. Whenever the Secretary invokes section 7(a) or 7(b) of this order, the contracting department or agency shall report to the Secretary the results of the action it has taken within such time as the Secretary shall specify.

Sec. 9. Cooperation. Each contracting department and agency shall cooperate with the Secretary and provide such information and assistance as the Secretary may require in the performance of the Secretary's functions under this order.

Sec. 10. Sufficiency of Remedies. If the Secretary finds that the authority vested in the Secretary by sections 5 through 9 of this order is not sufficient to effectuate the purposes of this order, the Secretary shall develop recommendations on how better to effectuate those purposes.

Sec. 11. Delegation. The Secretary may, in accordance with law, delegate any function or duty of the Secretary under this order to any officer in the Department of Labor or to any other officer in the executive branch of the Government, with the consent of the head of the department or agency in which that officer serves.

Sec. 12. Implementation. To the extent permitted by law, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council) shall take whatever action is required to implement in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) the provisions of this order and any related rules, regulations, or orders issued by the Secretary under this order and shall amend the FAR to require each solicitation of offers for a contract to include a provision that implements section 2 of this order.

Sec. 13. Revocation of Prior Order and Actions. Executive Order 13201 of February 17, 2001, is revoked. The heads of executive departments and agencies shall, to the extent permitted by law, revoke expeditiously any orders, rules, regulations, guidelines, or policies implementing or enforcing Executive Order 13201.

Sec. 14. Severability. If any provision of this order, or the application of such provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this order and the application of the provisions of such to any person or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

Sec. 15. General Provisions.

(a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) authority granted by law to a department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 16. Effective Date. This order shall become effective immediately, and shall apply to contracts resulting from solicitations issued on or after the effective date of the rule promulgated by the Secretary pursuant to section 3(b) of this order.

BARACK OBAMA

The White House,

January 30, 2009.

Citation: Barack Obama: "Executive Order 13496 - Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labor Laws ", January 30, 2009. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=85717.
 
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