One of President Obama’s key initiatives to improve wages and working conditions in federal government supply chains, the executive order on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, is under attack by a coalition of federal contractors who have filed a lawsuit seeking to delay or prevent its implementation.
The order requires federal contractors to regularly disclose violations of 14 federal labor laws and federal contracting officers to take their compliance record into account when evaluating competing bids for public contracts. The key laws include the National Labor Relations Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
“ILRF strongly supports the executive order as a common sense measure to ensure that federal contractors who routinely violate our labor and employment laws will not be rewarded with federal procurement contracts,” said Judy Gearhart, Executive Director of the International Labor Rights Forum.
The executive order will put in place regulations that will address key issues workers are faced with on the job at federal contractors including wage theft, safety violations and discrimination. A U.S. Senate investigation revealed that federal contractors were responsible for nearly one-third of the largest U.S. Department of Labor penalties for wage theft and other legal violations. A separate report from the National Employment Law Project found that a third of low-wage federal contract workers have been victims of wage theft.