As we previously reported, Congress has taken its final steps in repealing Obama’s Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces rule, one of the most controversial rules enacted by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council under President Obama. On February 6, the Senate gave the final vote of approval of the House Resolution overturning the rule, and on March 27, President Trump, unsurprisingly, signed the Resolution into law. At the same time, he also signed legislation overturning three other rules, including the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s land use planning rule and two rules issued by the U.S. Department of Education. Though much of the Fair Pay rule had never been implemented due to a court injunction, this legislation formally revokes the rule and ensures that the FAR Council cannot enact a similar rule without Congressional approval.
Based on the final rule and guidance issued by the Department of Labor (DOL), the Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces rule would have required federal contractors and subcontractors to publicly disclose any violations or alleged violations of labor laws – regardless of whether they had been adjudicated – when bidding on federal contracts worth more than $500,000. Agencies could then use such public disclosures to potentially disqualify offerors from contract awards.
Bass, Berry & Sims’ Government Contracts & International Trade blog features news, commentary and insight on the demanding and ever-changing regulatory environment of contracting with federal, state and local governments, and international trade issues when conducting a global business.