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White House Acts To Protect Workers On Federal Contracts

President Obama signed an executive order last month requiring companies with government contracts to disclose all labor and employment law violations during the last three years and for U.S. agencies to consider this record when awarding government contracts. The new order is called the Fair Play and Safe Workplaces Executive Order.

Simply put, the U.S. government is now prodding their contractors through their bottom lines to comply with U.S. labor and employment laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (overtime and minimum wage), Family Medical Leave Act, anti-discrimination laws under the Civil Rights Act, and other employee rights.

U.S. government contracts involve over 24,000 U.S. companies with a total of 28 million workers, the U.S. Department of Labor reports. As a result, the new U.S. government reporting requirement will have a substantial impact on the American workplace, as companies must report all labor and employment law violations beyond just those at their government contracting business or subsidiary.

President Obama, in his signing day remarks, declared that he wants to help “working families” by ensuring better workplaces which respect employee federal rights. “Our tax dollars shouldn’t go to companies that violate workplace laws,” the President remarked.

Implementing federal regulations are forthcoming as this new disclosure requirement changes the U.S. contractor landscape. For instance, the Executive Order creates “Labor Compliance Advisors” at U.S. agencies to help agencies assess whether a company deserves a contract.

Companies seeking government contracts only must disclose the violations that result in an administrative, arbitration, or court ruling against them, and not settlements out of court. As a result, companies will have more incentive to settle beforehand.

At Lebau & Neuworth, LLC, we are experienced at holding employers accountable. If you think your rights have been violated, give us a call or email us, we may be able to help.

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