DOL Issues Final Federal Contractor Rule: "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces"

Submitted by Firm:
Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon & Galchus, P.C.
Firm Contacts:
Abtin Mehdizadegan, J. Bruce Cross, Misty Wilson Borkowski
Article Type:
Legal Update

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR) issued the long-awaited "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces" Rule (the Rule), which follows President Obama's Executive Order 13673 (July 2014).  The Rule becomes effective October 25, 2016, which is 60 days from today.  

Only federal contracts in excess of $50 Million will be covered; however, the Pay Transparency portion of the Rule, which requires new policy and contract language regarding the confidentiality of employee compensation, takes effect on January 1, 2017.  Further, the coverage threshold will drop to federal contacts exceeding $500,000 in April 25, 2017.

Once implemented in full, federal contractors will have many new obligations with regard to ensuring compliance with all federal labor and employment statutes, security requirements, and reporting/disclosure obligations.  Further, the Rule carries a new penalty for non-compliance, which includes the ability of the DOL or FAR to "blacklist" contractors from future federal procurement projects. 

Additionally, the DOL recently issued regulations requiring employers to post a revised  Federal Minimum Wage poster and a revised Federal Employee Polygraph Act poster. Both posters now contain a QR code that directs visitors to the agencies web pages when scanned with a cell phone. 

If you have not recently reviewed your workplace postings, now may be a good time to check all the posters to ensure they are up-to-date.