Daily Labor Report® is the objective resource the nation’s foremost labor and employment professionals read and rely on, providing reliable, analytical coverage of top labor and employment...
By Ben Penn
May 25 — Senate Democrats are trying to prevent Republicans from using the defense authorization process to dramatically scale back President Barack Obama's executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose workplace violations. The outcome appears to rest in the president's hands.
The Senate is now debating a fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act bill that includes language exempting most Defense Department contractors from the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order. And even though a Democrat will likely introduce language this week to remove that provision, it would face an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled Senate.
The House already passed its version of the NDAA (97 DLR A-9, 5/19/16), which would also remove DOD contractors from the executive order and its implementing rules. However, the Senate policy bill contains different language related to the order. When the Senate passes the measure, the chambers will have to sort out the differences in conference committee.
“It is looking extremely probable that this issue will have to be hashed out in conference,” Karla Walter, director of the American Worker Project at the Center for American Progress, told Bloomberg BNA May 25. “We are working with our allies in the House and Senate as well as the White House to ensure that the final bill does not include these damaging provisions.”
The administration already issued a statement on the House bill declaring that if presented with the current legislation, the president's senior advisers would recommend he veto it. That statement says the administration “strongly objects” to the bill's language pertaining to the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order.
But several lobbyists who support the order told Bloomberg BNA they will be hard at work to ensure the White House remains committed to the veto stance when the chambers get to conference. Unlike an appropriations bill, the NDAA is a policy bill that must be passed this year.
The executive order would require businesses seeking government contracts worth more than $500,000 to disclose any violations of 14 federal labor and employment laws and state-law counterparts for the previous three years (147 DLR AA-1, 7/31/14). Agencies could deny contracts to egregious violators based on the information.
Those who favor the executive order say this is a GOP effort to gut the president's order because DOD contracts account for a significant majority of overall federal contracting.
Lobbyists from a coalition of business trade associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, H.R. Policy Association and the National Association of Manufacturers, did not comment May 25. The coalition has referred to it as the “blacklisting” order and has strongly opposed it.
Meanwhile, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council and the Labor Department recently sent draft final versions of regulations and guidance that implement the executive order to the White House for final review (86 DLR A-9, 5/4/16).
To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Penn in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at email@example.com
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)