By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory affairs & assistant general counsel, ARTBA

President Donald Trump Feb. 1 issued a policy statement indicating support for striking down the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) “Fair Play and Safe Workplaces” executive order, an Obama administration regulation that industry critics call the “blacklisting rule.”

The rule requires contractors bidding on solicitations of $50 million or more to disclose their violations of 14 different federal workplace health and safety laws. It also requires disclosure of labor violations on solicitations of $500,000 or more, subcontractors to disclose their labor violations, and expands 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.

President Trump’s policy statement says the rule “would bog down Federal procurement with unnecessary and burdensome processes that would result in delays, and decreased competition for Federal government contracts. Rolling back this rule will also help to reduce costs in Federal procurement.”

Currently, the regulation is being stayed by a federal district court pending the outcome of litigation. ARTBA recommends repealing the “blacklisting rule” in our “Ripe for Reform: Federal Regulatory Issues Impacting Transportation Project Delivery” report, which was shared with congressional leaders and the new administration.