Washington, D.C. — Today, after the Obama administration released final regulations related to its Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, David Madland and Karla Walter from the Center for American Progress Action Fund said in a statement that workers, law-abiding businesses, and taxpayers will reap the benefits of the executive order. Once implemented, the order will help ensure that companies are in compliance with federal labor laws—such as wage and hour and workplace safety—before they are able to receive new federal contracts.
In response to the final regulations, Madland—Senior Fellow for the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s American Worker Project—said:
Until now, contractors have continued to receive federal contracts worth billions of dollars despite long track records of committing rampant wage theft, creating unsafe working conditions, or discriminating against workers on the job. The Obama administration’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order will help ensure that companies with long track records of violating workplace laws clean up their acts before receiving new contracts. Since research has shown that companies with long records of violations frequently deliver poor-quality services to the government, the administration’s actions will also mean that taxpayer dollars will go to businesses that produce a good value for the government.
Republicans in Congress have included language in the National Defense Authorization Act to exclude U.S. Department of Defense contracts—a move that would exempt approximately two-thirds of all government contracts, roughly worth $274 billion. Walter—Director of the American Worker Project—added:
The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order creates a fair and consistent process to review the responsibility records of all federal contractors so that workers are safe, paid fairly, and not discriminated against and that law-abiding businesses can compete on an even playing field. Responsible bidder policies have a proven track record of protecting workers and improving the quality of contractors at all levels of government and even the private sector.
In a last-ditch effort to gut the administration’s steps to keep workers safe, Republicans in the House and Senate have included harmful policy riders to the National Defense Authorization Act to exclude all U.S. Department of Defense contracts from coverage. This would weaken protections for nearly one in five working Americans, including veterans with disabilities. Now is the time for lawmakers to decide if they are on the side of workers—and this language must be stripped from the bill before it reaches the president’s desk.
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