- A temporary restraining order (TRO) has been filed against the Obama Administration's Fair Play and Safe Workplaces rule (also known as the "blacklisting rule"), which requires federal contractors to "disclose labor law violations to the federal government" at the risk of losing out on potential federal contracts if their conduct fails to meet standards, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
- This is an ongoing issue. The rule stemmed from Executive Order 13673, signed by President Obama back in 2014, and is being implemented by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council with input from the Dept. of Labor. It's slated to take effect Oct. 25.
- On Oct. 7, a lawsuit was brought against both the DOL and FAR by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Southern Texas, the Associated Builders and Contractors and the National Association of Security Companies with the goal of halting the rule. The plaintiffs say the rule oversteps the boundaries of executive authority and conflicts with congressional labor laws, according to SHRM.
Much like the recently-filed injunction targeting the federal government's changes to FLSA overtime rules, this is more or less a last-ditch effort for opponents of the "blacklisting" measure as the deadline quickly approaches. On top of the executive powers argument, critics of the law also complain about the costs and compliance headaches the new rule might create.
On the other side of the fence, it's another step by the Obama Administration to support federal contract workers. In September, for example, the DOL mandated up to 56 hours of paid sick leave for all employees of federal contractors. HR leaders in the public sector, meanwhile, should take note of changes in the contractor compliance space.