Contractor “Blacklisting” Rule Close to Being Repealed

 U.S. Department of Labor

U.S. Department of Labor

In July of 2016, the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order was signed into effect and has been a hotbed of controversy, especially within the construction industry, ever since. The act would have given the federal government the ability to disqualify contractors if they violated any of the 14 labor laws, which can be found here, over the past 3 years on any project totaling $500,000 or more.

In October, The Associated Builders and Contractors, INC. (ABC) filed a legal challenge to the rule and also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. On October 24th, a day before the new rule was set to go into effect, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction against the rule, delaying it from going into effect.

“Associated Builders and Contractors is pleased the court ruled that the Obama administration cannot order private businesses to publicly disclose mere accusations of labor law violations that have not been fully adjudicated,” said ABC Vice President of Regulatory, Labor & State Affairs Ben Brubeck in a press release. “By issuing this decision, the court has maintained the First Amendment rights of government contractors and protected them and taxpayers from the poorly crafted blacklisting rule.”

Last week, the House of Representatives voted 236-187 on a resolution to block the ‘blacklisting rule,’ according to The Hill, moving it one step closer to being fully repealed.  The Senate is next to vote on the resolution and it is expected to pass.  If it does pass the Senate, it also stops another similar rule from being issued in the future.  

“As the district court ruled in its preliminary injunction, treating non-adjudicated claims the same as actual wrongdoing denies federal contractors their due process rights,” said ABC Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck. “ABC supports policies that increase fairness and competition in government contracting and looks forward to working with the Trump administration and Congress to pursue commonsense policies that hold bad actors accountable while attracting the best companies and trained workforce to rebuild America.”

Full Story: House votes to repeal Obama 'blacklisting' rule | The Hill