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POGO Supports “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Rule

Civilian contractors

Civilian contractors lay down panels on a flight deck (U.S. Navy Photo)

Yesterday, the Project On Government Oversight submitted a public comment supporting the proposed rule (and proposed guidance) implementing the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order (EO). The EO expands disclosure requirements for government contractors and seeks to improve their labor practices.

The White House reported last year that there are roughly 24,000 companies with federal contracts, employing about 28 million workers. Some of these companies have poor labor law compliance records and often provide bad value for the government and taxpayers.

The EO requires contractors and subcontractors to disclose violations of laws regarding wages, workplace health and safety, collective bargaining, family and medical leave, and civil rights. Contracting officials must take this information into consideration when determining whether companies have sufficient integrity and business ethics to receive federal funds. The EO also prohibits contractors from requiring employees to submit to arbitration in disputes involving discrimination and sexual assault and harassment, and requires contractors to give their employees the information they need to verify the accuracy of their paychecks.

While we are pleased to lend our support to the proposed rule implementing the EO, we believe there are several shortcomings that must be addressed. We are concerned that various restrictions and omissions concerning contractor disclosure—for example, contractors are not required to report criminal violations, settled cases, or violations of foreign labor laws—could diminish the overall effectiveness of the EO. We hope that our suggestions are incorporated into the final rule.

By: Neil Gordon
Investigator, POGO

Neil Gordon, Investigator Neil Gordon is an investigator for the Project On Government Oversight. Neil investigates and maintains POGO's Federal Contractor Misconduct Database.

Topics: Contract Oversight

Related Content: Contractor Accountability, Contractor Misconduct, Federal Contractor Misconduct

Authors: Neil Gordon

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