By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory affairs & assistant general counsel, ARTBA
A federal court blocked the implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) “Fair Play and Safe Workplaces” executive order on Oct. 24, a day before it was scheduled to take effect. Now, what industry critics call the “blacklisting rule” will be kept on hold while litigation challenging the regulation remains under review.
Under the rule, contractors bidding on solicitations of $50 million or more would be required to disclose their violations of 14 different federal workplace health and safety laws. The final rule, which would be phased in, ultimately will require disclosure of labor violations on solicitations of $500,000 or more, will require subcontractors to disclose their labor violations, and will expand the reporting requirement to state law equivalents of the federal labor laws. Additional reports will have to be made every six months after a contract is awarded.
The DOL contends the rule will ensure federal contractors comply with all necessary regulatory requirements. Concerned employers counter that the rule will “blacklist” them from federal awards for violations or claims, which they do not have the ability to properly track.
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