Trump puts final nail in the coffin: Blacklisting rule ‘gone forever’

March 28, 2017 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

President Donald Trump has signed a resolution voiding an Obama-era regulation that would have required federal contractors to disclose employment law violations to agencies that award contracts. His signature was the final step in the repeal process. “It was the stake through the heart of the blacklisting regs,” according to H. Juanita Beecher, of counsel with Fortney & Scott and an editor of Federal Employment Law Insider.

The move is a welcome one for federal contractors, which expected the so-called blacklisting rule to be incredibly burdensome, Beecher said. The rule was issued to implement President Barack Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which directed agencies to consider employment law disclosures when awarding contracts.

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Federal contractors hail Congress’s decision to kill ‘blacklisting’ rule

March 08, 2017 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

On March 6, Congress voted to repeal a regulation requiring federal contractors to report employment law violations to agencies that award contracts. President Donald Trump is expected to approve the resolution.

The move was expected but is still a great relief to all federal contractors, according to Burton J. Fishman, senior counsel with Fortney & Scott and a contributor to Federal Employment Law Insider. Even the most compliant contractors had negative reactions to the rule. “They were all opposed to this[,] and that tells you something,” Fishman said. “This was really exceedingly burdensome with very little upside and had the trappings of political—not practical—purpose involved.”

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Trump aims to help businesses with 2-for-1 regulatory plan

January 31, 2017 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

On January 30, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies to cut two regulations for every new one issued during the current fiscal year (FY). The move is aimed at alleviating regulatory burdens on both small and large businesses, Trump said while signing the order.

The order says that unless prohibited by law, an agency must identify at least two existing regulations to repeal each time it proposes or finalizes a new regulation. “If you have a regulation you want—number one, we’re not going to approve it because it’s already been approved probably in 17 different forms, but if we do—the only way you have a chance is, we have to knock out two regulations for every new regulation,” he said.

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Time for federal contractors to meet new paid leave requirements

by H. Juanita M. Beecher

Contractors entering into federal contracts on or after January 1, 2017, must comply with the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new regulations requiring them to provide workers 56 hours of paid sick leave a year.

The regulations implement President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13706, which was issued on September 7, 2015. The coverage provisions are the same as those for the $10.10 hourly minimum wage requirements for federal contractors. Employees whose wages are governed by the Davis-Bacon Act, the Service Contract Act, or the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are also covered.

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Final ‘blacklisting’ rule for federal contractors issued

August 25, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The long-awaited regulations implementing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order—often called the “blacklisting” rule—were made final on August 24, even though change may be on the way as a result of litigation and legislation. The final rule, announced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, will take effect on October 25.

President Barack Obama signed the Executive Order in July 2014. The order’s purpose is to require prospective federal contractors to disclose violations of 14 federal labor and employment laws during the previous three years once the new rule is fully phased in. Those laws address wage and hour issues, safety and health requirements, collective bargaining, family and medical leave, and civil rights protections. Government agencies are to consider the disclosures when awarding federal contracts.

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New final rule updates sex discrimination guidelines for federal contractors

June 14, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Federal contractors are getting a look at a new regulation aimed at preventing sex discrimination in employment, and while many contractors already are in line with its provisions, the new rule may create tension in some areas.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released a final rule on June 14 replacing sex discrimination guidelines from 1970 with new regulations that align with current law.

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Proposed rule spells out paid sick leave requirements for federal contractors

February 25, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released its proposed regulations implementing President Barack Obama’s Executive Order requiring paid sick leave for employees of federal contractors.

Executive Order 13706, signed on September 7, 2015, will apply to new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts that result from solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2017, or that are awarded outside the solicitation process on or after January 1, 2017.

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New executive order expands ‘ban the box’ trend

November 03, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

President Barack Obama’s plan to issue a “ban the box” Executive Order may not directly affect nonfederal government employers, but it continues a movement in both the public and private sectors against considering criminal history early in the hiring process. A White House fact sheet issued November 2, the same day Obama traveled to New Jersey to outline plans to help the formerly incarcerated, explains that the president is directing the federal Office of Personnel Management “to take action where it can by modifying its rules to delay inquiries into criminal history until later in the hiring process.”  Hand with pen and check boxes isolated on white background

The fact sheet says most federal agencies already have taken that step. It also notes that many states and cities have passed laws requiring employers to remove the job application section that asks if prospective employees have a criminal record. The fact sheet also notes that many private companies have decided on their own to delay asking about criminal history until later in the hiring process to make sure job seekers aren’t unnecessarily screened out before having a chance to explain their circumstances.

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Time for federal contractors to get ready for new pay transparency rule

September 10, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Federal contractors need to be preparing now for the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new pay transparency rule, a rule going into effect in January that is likely to present challenges to a number of employers, according to an attorney familiar with its provisions.

“This rule appears to me to be part of the overarching intention of the agency to provide for more defined and broader rights for workers,” Jo Ellen Whitney, an attorney with the Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa, said after publication of the rule was announced September 10. “Any time we add a section to the law that would broaden coverage or create a new category of discrimination or retaliation, we create employer issues. This is not because employers will violate the law, but because it is uncertain how it will be used to support any potential employee claim.”

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Federal contractors advised to get ready for new paid sick leave order

September 09, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

President Barack Obama’s latest Executive Order affecting federal contractors isn’t scheduled to take effect for more than a year, but employers with federal contracts are advised to take a look at their sick leave policies now to make sure they will be in compliance when the time comes.

On September 7, Obama signed an Executive Order that will require federal contractors and subcontractors to offer employees up to seven days of paid sick leave per year. A fact sheet from the White House says that beginning with new contracts in 2017, workers will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. The White House points out that contractors are free to offer more generous paid leave entitlements.

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