Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Obama Signs "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces" Executive Order

Last week, President Obama signed the latest in a series of executive orders addressing employment law for federal contractors. This one is a little complicated, so I'll direct you to the full Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order here. I'll just touch on a few highlights.

Contractors bidding on federal contracts in excess of $500,000 must now disclose:
[W]hether there has been any administrative merits determination, arbitral award or decision, or civil judgment, as defined in guidance issued by the Department of Labor, rendered against the offeror within the preceding 3-year period for violations of any of the following labor laws and Executive Orders (labor laws) . . .
. . . followed by a laundry list of laws, including the FLSA, OSHA, NLRA, FMLA, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and more.

With regard to contracts in excess of $1 million:
[C]ontractors agree that the decision to arbitrate claims arising under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any tort related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment may only be made with the voluntary consent of employees or independent contractors after such disputes arise.
The key part of that being that the arbitration agreement can only be made after such disputes arise. Now, more than ever (at least to my recollection), federal contractors are operating under their own set of rules.