Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Congressional Resolution to Rescind Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rules Passes Both Houses

Last Monday (March 6), the Senate passed a joint resolution disapproving the final rule implementing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. The House initiated the joint resolution and passed it in February. From what we've been able to discern from reading online sources, the President is expected to sign it into law.

The resolution reads:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration relating to the Federal Acquisition Regulations (published at 81 Fed. Reg. 58562 (August 25, 2016)), and such rule shall have no force or effect.
The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order and its related regulations have been controversial from the start. It requires the Government to "consider" a contractor's (or prospective contractor's) history of actual and alleged labor violations when awarding contracts. It has become known as the blackballing regulation.

Just before it was to go into effect, a Texas judge enjoined the Government from implementing the portion of the new rules relating to the reporting and disclosure requirement s regarding labor law violations, but not other aspects of the regulations.

Presumably, this resolution applies to the entirety of EO and regulations including the provisions relating to the paycheck transparency (see FAR 52.222-60), based on the same EO and part of the same regulation addressed in the Congressional resolution.

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