The legislation referenced above in today’s blog headline is formally entitled the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order.
As noted from its name, the law comes in the form of an executive proclamation issued by President Obama, with such rules and orders bypassing the more typical route for the passage of federal laws that is provided through the legislative process on Capitol Hill.
The president signed the order more than two years ago, back in July 2014. It is just now nearing completion of various tick-off prerequisites needing to be satisfied before its promulgation as a final rule affecting the nation’s federal workforce. Currently, Fair Pay is scheduled to have enforcement teeth from October 25 of this year.
Here is its central gist: the requirement for would-be federal contractors to adequately disclose pertinent information regarding their fair play toward employees.
Fair Pay might best be seen as the federal government’s new tool to better ensure that companies who treat workers badly — that is, unlawfully in matters ranging from collective bargaining and fair pay to family leave and workplace safety — do not get profitable contracts through the federal bidding process.
The order specifically mandates, as noted in a recent U.S. Department of Labor press release, that bid applicants “disclose violations of 14 basic workplace protections from the previous three years.” Regulators believe that such a report will enable them to properly vet competing companies and reward only those who don’t cut legal corners in their treatment of employees.
As with any such law (that is, an enactment providing exhaustive federal guidance coupled with new legal exactions across a host of considerations), questions and concerns can logically arise for both employers and workers.
Those can be discussed with a business and commercial law attorney well experienced in representing companies and workers, respectively, in labor-related matters.