DOL Issues Proposed Rule, Guidance to Implement Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order

On March 28, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) Council announced a proposed rule and guidance intended to reach the goals of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order signed by President Obama in July 2014. When announcing the proposed rule, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez expressed the philosophy behind the regulations: “The opportunity to contract with the federal government is a privilege, not an entitlement. Taxpayer dollars should not reward corporations that break the law, and contractors who meet their responsibilities should not have to compete against those who do not.”

The proposed rule will phase in penalties for government contractors who fail to uphold both federal and state labor laws. The most serious penalty, for government contractors whose violations are “serious, repeat, willful or pervasive,” will be blacklisting from future contracts and cancellation of existing contracts. The proposed rule establishes a process for determining appropriate penalties based on factors like the scope and seriousness of the labor violation and the size of the contractor.

The rule piles on hefty reporting requirements to ensure compliance. Federal contractors with contracts worth more than $500,000 will be required to disclose past labor violations when applying for new contracts as well as update the federal government twice a year about recent violations. The current guidance speaks to federal laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), and Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), but the DOL will issue more specific regulations regarding state labor laws in the future.

The comment period is open for 60 days and ends July 27, 2015. Federal contractors are invited to provide feedback on the proposed rule. While welcoming feedback on any topic, the DOL explicitly invited feedback on how to handle subcontractor compliance–asking, for example, whether subcontractors should report violations to the prime contractor or directly to the DOL.

Read the proposed rule and guidance.

About The Boon Group

The Boon Group® is a full service employee benefits company specializing in the design, implementation and administration of cost-effective fringe benefit plans for federal, state and local government contractors. Since 1982, The Boon Group has developed a partnership philosophy that expands beyond the products and services we offer. We stand with the employers and employees who, just like all who work at The Boon Group, are faced with the daunting task of navigating the U.S. healthcare system. Together, we can find a better way for all Americans to access healthcare. The Boon Group, Inc. is the parent holding company of The Boon Insurance Agency, Inc., Boon Administrative Services, Inc. (formerly named CEBA), Boon Insurance Management Services, L.P., Health & Welfare Benefit Systems, Inc. and Boon Investment Group, Inc. The Boon Group was formed to support and strengthen the position of these companies as a wholesaler of exclusive products and services. www.boongroup.com
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