President Signs Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order

By Lynn Clements, Director, Regulatory Affairs

Yesterday, President Obama issued another Executive Order imposing new obligations on federal contractors and subcontractors. Called the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, the President’s directive is far reaching and requires regular reporting by contractors about their labor and employment law compliance on a centralized government website.  Covered contractors also will be required to provide certain pay information to employees working on covered contracts. In an unexpected development, the Executive Order also prevents covered contractors from requiring employees to sign pre-dispute arbitration agreements for Title VII or tort related sexual assault or harassment claims.

Under the Executive Order, contractors will be required to certify their compliance with a long list of federal and state employment laws when bidding on new contracts valued at $500,000 or more. Specifically, contractors will be required to represent whether an administrative merits determination, arbitral award or decision, or civil judgment has been rendered against them under the following laws:

  1. The Fair Labor Standards Act;
  2. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970;
  3. The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act;
  4. The National Labor Relations Act;
  5. The Davis-Bacon Act;
  6. The Service Contract Act;
  7. Executive Order 11246;
  8. Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;
  9. The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974;
  10. The Family and Medical Leave Act;
  11. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; 
  12. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990;
  13. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967;
  14. Executive Order 13658 (minimum wage requirements for federal contractors); and
  15. Equivalent State laws, as defined in guidance issued by the Department of Labor. 

Regular six-month updates to this information will be required on a centralized government website. Contractors will also be required to ask subcontractors for supplies and services over $500,000 to make similar disclosures. Serious, repeated, willful, or pervasive violations may prevent contractors and subcontractors from being awarded future government work.

The Executive Order also requires contractors provide each employee working on covered contracts with information regarding that individual’s hours worked, overtime hours, pay, any pay deductions, and, if applicable, independent contractor status. Hours worked information need not be included for employees who are classified as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, provided the contractor informs the employee of his or her exempt status.

Finally, the Executive Order prevents covered federal contractors and subcontractors entering into contracts valued at $1 million dollars or more from requiring employees to sign pre-dispute arbitration agreements for Title VII or tort related sexual assault or harassment claims.

The requirements in the Executive Order become effective immediately and will apply to all solicitations for contracts as set forth in final rules to be issued by the FAR Council. The Department of Labor also is required to issue guidance regarding the labor law compliance reporting requirements.

Berkshire Associates is available to help you understand these new obligations and what they mean for your business. For more information please contact Berkshire Associates at 800.882.8904.