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Court Stays Federal Contractor Rules

aa-11-15-16A federal court has stayed federal rules adopted under a 2014 executive order by President Obama impacting employers who are federal contractors.

The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule and corresponding Department of Labor guidance were blocked by a federal district court judge in Texas on Oct. 24, the day before they were to go into effect.

The rules require most federal contractors to file reports about any and all labor-related enforcement actions and litigation judgments they may have been involved in over the previous three years.

The rules cover 14 federal statutes and executive orders and similar state laws. Federal contractors bidding on contracts valued at $500,000 or more must report all administrative merits determinations, arbitral awards, or decisions and civil judgments.

Also, the reports filed by the employers with the federal government would be made public, which will be a boon for labor unions and tort lawyers.

The federal district court expressed concern that the “violations” employers are required to report “may not be final decisions or determinations, are not confined to performance of past government contracts, and/or have not been preceded by a hearing or been made subject to judicial review.”

The court also said the order violates limits on enforcement and who Congress said should enforce these laws, which it expressed in detail.

In addition, the court said the government violated the First Amendment, which courts have held prohibits the government from dictating the content of speech unless it can demonstrate necessity.

The government failed to show any necessity in requiring the public disclosure of “non-adjudicated, unresolved allegations of labor law violations,” the court declared.

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