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Trump Stops Contractor ‘Blacklist Rule’

Friday, March 31, 2017

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A rule that would have required contractors seeking work on federal projects to disclose violations—including wage and hour laws, health and safety rules and civil rights protections—was struck down Monday (March 28) by President Donald J. Trump.

The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, also known as the “Blacklisting rule” was repealed when the President signed H.J. Res. 37. In order to overturn the regulation, lawmakers employed the Congressional Review Act, a rarely used legislative tool.

Gage Skidmore, CC-BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr

Under the rule President Trump struck down, federal contractors would have had to disclose violations including those related to: wage and hour laws, including the Davis-Bacon Act; health and safety rules; collective bargaining; family and medical leave; and civil rights protections.

“Only one [other] time in our history did a president sign a bill to cancel federal regulations,” Trump told a roomful of Republican lawmakers as he signed the measure, The Hill reported. Former President George W. Bush repealed a Clinton-era regulation in 2001, the report said.

Opponents of the rule had filed a federal lawsuit challenging the measure on grounds that it violated due process rights of federal contractors by treating non-adjudicated claims the same as actual wrongdoing. A federal judge in Texas issued a temporarily block on the measure last October, when it was scheduled to go into effect.

ABC Commends Trump

The Associated Builders and Contractors released a statement Monday, applauding the move by President Trump.

ABC Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck said the organization “opposed the illegal blacklisting rule from the day it was first proposed as an executive order by President Obama.”

“The rule violated the due process rights of contractors by forcing them to report mere allegations of misconduct—which are often frivolous and filed with nefarious intentions by special interest groups—the same as fully adjudicated violations,” Brubeck said.

ABC said it remains committed to working with the Trump administration and Congress to improve the government’s current procurement system to ensure that taxpayer-funded projects are awarded through a transparent and fair bid process that encourages competition from all qualified contractors.

About the Rule

Originally set to go into effect Oct. 25, 2016, the rule would have required businesses bidding for federal contracts over $500,000 to disclose not only civil and administrative proceedings against them, but also violations of any of the 14 listed workplace protections in the past three years.

Perez and Obama

The controversial rule stemmed from an executive order signed by President Barack Obama, seen here with Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, in 2014.

The final rule was based on President Barack Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order and was meant to “ensure contractors who don’t follow the rules aren’t rewarded with federal contracts, and those who do are given a fair chance.”

The labor law violations that were to be disclosed, according to the new rule, include those related to: wage and hour laws, including the Davis-Bacon Act; health and safety rules; collective bargaining; family and medical leave; and civil rights protections, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Roughly 24,000 businesses, employing 28 million workers, have federal contracts.


Tagged categories: Department of Labor; Government; Labor; Laws and litigation; North America; OSHA; President Trump; Program/Project Management; Regulations

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