Yesterday (March 27, 2017), President Trump signed into law a Congressional Joint Resolution of Disapproval (the “Resolution”), revoking the rules implementing the controversial Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, better known as the Blacklisting Rule. The same day, President Trump issued a new Executive Order – The “Presidential Executive Order on the Revocation of Federal Contracting Executive Orders” – officially revoking the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order.
As federal contractors are well-aware, the Blacklisting Rule required federal contractors to disclose various “violations” of labor laws to the federal government, imposed new paycheck transparency obligations, created new employee arbitration restrictions, and imposed new independent contractor notification requirements. Most of these requirements had been enjoined by a federal judge in October 2016, but some of the provisions – specifically, the paycheck transparency and independent contractor notification provisions – remained untouched by the ruling and went into effect January 1, 2017.
To revoke the Blacklisting Rule, Congress utilized the little-used Congressional Review Act (the “CRA”), which allows Congress to review new federal regulations and overrule them by passing a joint resolution within a certain period of time after the regulation is transmitted to Congress. The CRA had only been used once before to successfully revoke a regulation. The Resolution passed in the House of Representatives on a 236-187 vote on February 2, 2017. On March 6, 2017, the Senate passed the Resolution by a narrow 49-48 margin.
With President Trump’s signature and implementation of his own Executive Order, the Rule has met its complete demise.