On March 27, 2017, President Trump signed a Congressional Review Act resolution that rolled back President Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order 13673 that required bidders for federal contracts to disclose their labor law violations. In addition, President Trump issued an Executive Order officially revoking President Obama’s initial Executive Order. President Trump’s Executive Order can be found here. Under President Obama’s Executive Order 13673, bidders on most federal contracts worth more than $500,000 were required to disclose any labor law violations over a period of three years. These disclosures were then taken into account by federal contracting agencies for the purpose of determining whether to award or renew contracts. A copy of President Obama’s Executive Order 13673 can be found here.
Executive Order 13673 was frequently referred to as the “blacklisting rule” by its opponents who argued that it unfairly targeted companies because it called for not just a disclosure of actual violations, but also alleged labor law violations that were not adjudicated. Opponents also argued that Executive Order 13673 created new and onerous regulatory burdens on companies in contradiction of Congress’s intent. In October 2016, a Texas federal judge temporarily enjoined the government from enforcing the reporting requirements of Executive Order 13673. The recent resolution and President Trump’s Executive Order effectively make permanent the Texas federal court’s temporary injunction.
In addition to revoking all of Executive Order 13673, President Trump’s Executive Order requires federal departments and agencies to “consider promptly rescinding any orders, rules, regulations, guidance, guidelines, or policies implementing or enforcing” Executive Order 13673. As a result, President Trump’s Executive Order effectively eliminates certain Federal Acquisition Regulations, including requirements that federal contractors report labor law violations to federal agencies when bidding on federal projects and implement certain paycheck transparency procedures.
This client alert is intended to inform clients and other interested parties about legal matters of current interest and is not intended as legal advice. If you have any questions regarding these issues, please contact your Labor and Employment Counsel at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.