Magazine article HRMagazine

Federal Contractors with Labor Violations Targeted

Magazine article HRMagazine

Federal Contractors with Labor Violations Targeted

Article excerpt

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., is on a mission to fight wage theft. He recently added amendments to appropriations bills to discontinue use of federal contrac- tors who have recently violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and to pre- vent prospective contractors who have broken labor laws from receiving such contracts. He called on President Barack Obama to issue a similar executive order.

A 2010 Government Accountability Office report found that almost two- thirds of the 50 largest wage and hour violations, and almost 40 percent of the 50 largest health and safety penalties, issued between 2005 and 2009 were at companies that went on to receive new government contracts.

On July 31, 2014, the president seemed receptive to Ellison's request. He signed an executive order that will require prospective contractors to disclose labor law violations from the past three years before they can be eligi- ble for a contract.

Three-Year Look-Back

Although executive orders are relatively common, this one is unique because it requires pre-award disclosures that could disadvantage or disqualify con- tractors in competitive awards, said Connie Bertram, an attorney at Pros- kauer in Washington, D.C. "Large and even casual contractors will need to develop systems for tracking claims and findings and making required disclo- sures, and realign litigation risk manage- ment models," she said.

Safety and Health Law Violations

The order will also require disclosure about safety and health law violations, as well as violations of collective bar- gaining, family and medical leave, and civil rights protections such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. …

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