President Obama signed an executive order restricting contracts for contractors that break labor laws. (Getty Images)
President Obama signed an executive order July 31 requiring federal contractors to disclose any labor law violations and for agencies to take that into account when awarding contracts.
The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order affects contracts valued at more than $500,000 and will be implemented in stages during 2016, according to the administration.
The executive order also provides a range of rules and guidance for agencies and contractors. It:
■ Requires contractors to disclose labor law violations from the past three years before they can get a contract, including violations of laws regarding collective bargaining, family and medical leave and wages;
■ Mandates each agency to appoint a senior official as a labor compliance officer overseeing contracting officers, to make sure agencies are complying with the new rules, and;
■ Forbids contractors with $1 million or more in government business from requiring employees to enter into arbitration agreements for issues related to sexual assault or harassment.
The executive order will push contractors to settle existing labor issues such as back pay and helps provide information to contracting officers they need to make good decisions when awarding contracts, according to an administration statement.
While most contractors do not violate labor laws the administration does not want to reward those that do by giving them federal contracts.
“By cracking down on federal contractors who break the law, the president is helping ensure that all hardworking Americans get the fair pay and safe workplaces they deserve,” the statement said.