On July 31, 2014, President Obama signed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (the “Order”), which imposes additional disclosure and compliance obligations on federal government contractors with contracts valued at $500,000 or more. Among other things, the Order will require contractors to disclose violations of numerous labor, employment, wage payment and safety laws during the contract bidding process. These violations will be taken into account when awarding government contracts. Our original blog post on the Order can be found here.
The Order instructed the Department of Labor to issue implementing regulations and to work with the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to implement necessary changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulations. Implementing regulations have not yet been proposed. On March 26, 2015, 19 Democratic Senators sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, urging him to “issue guidance and coordinate with the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to issue regulations, in as timely a manner as possible.” The letter highlighted the results of a 2013 Senate investigation, which found that “almost 30 percent of the companies that have received the most severe penalties for worker safety and wage law violations in the past five years were still federal contractors.”
As we have previously noted, once implemented, the Order will have a significant impact on government contractors. The implementing regulations will provide much-needed clarification regarding the scope of and procedures for contractor disclosures and other new obligations imposed by the Executive Order. We will continue to monitor developments regulating the Order and its implementing regulations.