USDA Proposes Resuscitating Rule to Blacklist Government Contractors for Labor Law Violations

On February 17, 2022, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a rule to update its Agriculture Acquisition Regulation (AGAR), which has not had a major revision since 1996. One component of the proposed rule requires USDA contractors to maintain compliance with a broad range of labor and employment laws and regulations in order to do business with the USDA. These requirements are strikingly similar to the Obama-era Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (nicknamed “the blacklist rule”). Contractors . . . Read More

DOL Updates Language on Service Contract Act Wage Determinations AGAIN!

An executive order increasing the minimum wage for non-exempt employees working on specified types of federal contracts took effect January 30, 2022. However, recent wage determinations issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) fail to appreciate that contracting officers are supposed to modify contracts to include the applicable Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) before the new minimum wage provisions are effective. Raising wages prior to proper incorporation of the applicable FAR provision risks a government contractor’s eligibility for a contract price . . . Read More

OFCCP’s Growing Activism Portends Stricter Enforcement

The Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has taken several actions during the past six months that signal it will adopt a more forceful posture in ensuring that federal contractors meet their affirmative action and non-discrimination obligations toward their workforce. To prepare themselves for heightened scrutiny and tighter deadlines, government contractors should take steps now to set up their records for quick retrieval during OFCCP audits and rectify any unjustified pay disparities among their employees. . . . Read More

COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Laws Could Show Emerging Compliance Trends for Employers

Since the onset of the pandemic, many states and localities have passed COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave laws requiring employers to provide leave to employees for COVID-19-related reasons. California and Colorado have gone beyond many other states by adding to the required amount of sick time. These laws present unique administrative compliance challenges and financial burdens on employers who must prepare for employees’ additional paid COVID-19-related absences. Even employers with no employees in California and Colorado should be mindful, however, . . . Read More

The Significance of Equal Pay Day for Federal Contractors

This past Tuesday, March 15, marked Equal Pay Day, a day signifying how far into this year women (across all races and ethnicities) had to work to earn what men were paid in 2021. While the topic of pay equity is not new, recently there has been growing momentum on the state and federal levels to strive towards equal pay across genders. We previously wrote about the changing landscape on the pay equity front here . To commemorate Equal Pay Day, . . . Read More

Non-Compete Agreements: What Employers and Healthcare Providers Should Know

Non-compete clauses are a common component in employment agreements for many businesses and healthcare providers. Employers and healthcare providers, ranging from large public hospitals and Fortune 500 companies to small private practices and businesses, utilize non-compete clauses in their employment agreements to protect their businesses and medical practices by restricting their employees’ ability to work for a competing entity. This blog offers important considerations for employers and healthcare providers implementing non-compete agreements and clauses to protect their interests, ensure enforceability, . . . Read More

Government Contractors to Register for Affirmative Action Program Compliance Certification Beginning February 1, 2022

In December 2021, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) launched its Affirmative Action Program Verification Interface through a new online portal (Portal).  Beginning on February 1, 2022, registration opens on the Portal, and covered prime and subcontractors are required to certify compliance of their Affirmative Action Program (AAP) by no later than June 30, 2022. Covered contractors are then required to annually certify.  The Portal also provides a secure platform for scheduled contractors to submit their AAP to OFCCP during compliance evaluations.  In . . . Read More

Navigating Nondisplacement Rule Reboot for Government Contracts, Nichole Atallah for Law360

In her Law360 article “Navigating Nondisplacement Rule Reboot For Government Contracts,” Nichole Atallah , Chair of PilieroMazza ‘s Labor & Employment Group , examines President Biden’s executive order bringing back to life provisions of the 2009 Executive Order No. 13495 on the nondisplacement of qualified workers under service contracts.  Visit this link to view the full article.

Government Shutdowns for Federal Contractors: Mitigating Damages and Managing Your Workforce

Once again, the specter of a government shutdown looms over the federal contracting community. The House just passed a continuing resolution that would extend federal funding through February 18, 2022, and avoid a government shutdown on December 3, 2021. However, it is unclear whether it will be passed by the Senate due to objections over federal vaccine and testing mandate funding. As a result, there is a possibility that the continuing resolution will not pass the Senate by the December . . . Read More