New Executive Order Seeks to Level the Playing Field For Federal Contractors

Published: September 4, 2014

The much needed “Fair Play and Safe Workplace Executive Order,” signed by President Obama,  provides new reporting requirements on federal contractors and limits contractors’ ability to impose arbitration clauses for certain types of workplace lawsuits.

According to a White House fact sheet, the order’s key provisions:

Hold corporations accountable for labor law violations

Crack down on repeat violators

Promote efficient federal contracting

Protect responsible contractors

Give employees a day in court

Give employees information about their paycheck

Streamline implementation and overall contractor reporting

For contracts valued at more than $500,000, the executive order requires contractors to disclose violations of more than 14 federal statutes, and their state law counterparts, which include, but are not limited to: OSHA, LMRA, ADA, FMLA, and civil rights laws.  It also provides for “paycheck transparency,” requiring employees’ paychecks to include information on hours worked, rate of pay, overtime, additions, and deductions.

Another major component of the order prevents contractors with contracts of more than $1 million from requiring employees to consent to mandatory arbitration for certain types of legal disputes involving civil rights, sexual assaults, or harassment.  The executive order not only requires contractors to disclose certain violations at the time of bidding, but it contains ongoing obligations to disclose new violations during the life of the contract.  The Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council will be responsible for implementing specific regulations necessary to carry out the executive order.   Click here to view a White House notice about the Executive Order.