USDOL Wage & Hour Division Announces 2017 Prevailing Wage Seminars

Join us at a Prevailing Wage Seminar in your region in 2017!

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) Prevailing Wage Seminars (Prevailing Wage Seminars) are three-day compliance trainings designed for regional stakeholders (unions, private contractors, state agencies, federal agencies and workers). In these seminars, conference participants will learn about the following:

  • The Davis-Bacon Act and McNamara O’Hara Service Contract Act
  • Executive Order 13495 “Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers”
  • Executive Order 13658 “Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors”
  • The process of obtaining wage determinations and adding classifications
  • Compliance assistance and enforcement processes
  • The process for appealing wage rates, coverage, and compliance determinations

 

Prevailing Wage Seminars for 2017 are being scheduled in the following cities:

  • Pittsburgh, PA – TBD

 

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Wage and Hour Division Final Rule: Executive Order 13706, Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors

Sept. 30, 2016

The Department of Labor has announced that on September 30, 2016, it will publish a final rule to implement Executive Order 13706, Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors. Executive Order 13706 was signed by President Barack Obama on September 7, 2015, and requires parties that enter into covered contracts with the Federal Government to provide covered employees with up to 7 days of paid sick leave annually, including paid leave allowing for family care. The final rule describes the categories of contracts and employees covered by the Executive Order; the rules and restrictions regarding the accrual and use of paid sick leave; the obligations of contracting agencies, the Department of Labor, and covered Federal contractors under the Order; and the remedies and enforcement procedures to implement the Order’s requirements.

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Judge blocks Bevin’s executive order abolishing commission

JUNE 8, 2016 5:09 PM
The Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A Kentucky judge has issued a temporary injunction blocking Gov. Matt Bevin’s executive order that abolished the Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission and recreated a new one.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd issued the order Wednesday and said it will remain in effect until he issues a final ruling.

Bevin’s press secretary, Amanda Stamper, said the governor’s office believes the ruling is wrong and is considering legal options, including possible appeal.

The commission nominates administrative law judges to be appointed by the governor and who decide if and how much employers have to pay workers who were hurt on the job. Last month Bevin abolished that commission, rewrote the law that governed it and then re-created it with new members, all by executive order.

Two labor unions and four injured workers filed a lawsuit challenging the move.

(See Article)

Executive Orders Impacting Construction in 2015

12/31/2014 by Daniel Frost 

 

In 2014 Barack Obama issued over 30 executive orders as promised in his State of the Union Address.  At least three of these orders are notable and will impact federal contractors and workers performing construction and construction management services.

On February 12, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13658, which raises the minimum wage for workers on federal construction and service contracts to $10.10.  This order applies to procurements subsequent to January 1, 2015, and provides that after 2015, increases to the minimum wage will be tied to the Consumer Price Index.  The Department of Labor will be charged with enforcement and rulemaking on implementation and remedies for violations is already underway.

On July 21, 2014 President Obama signed Executive Order 13672, which extends the antidiscrimination protections of two previous executive orders to LGBT federal workers.  This order now prohibits discrimination in the federal civilian workforce on the basis of gender identity or hiring by federal contractors on the basis of sexual identity or gender identity.  Federal contractors will also be required to engage in certain affirmative action to provide equal opportunity to LGBT federal workers.  Final rules have been promulgated and the order looks to become effective early next year.  Enforcement will be through the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

Also on July 21, 2014 President Obama signed Executive Order 13673 which requires that for all federal contracts over $500,000, prospective contractors must disclose various labor violations as set forth in the text of the order.  Any violations so disclosed will be considered in determining whether the contractor is a responsible source.  Additionally, the information provided on violations must be updated every six months during the performance of the contract.  The order also prohibits contractors from relying on pre-dispute arbitration agreements to resolve various civil rights and tort claims where the amount of the contract is over $1 million.  Contractors with multiple serious violations in the past are now at risk for suspension and debarment.

It is too early to know for certain the precise risks and burdens of these new executive orders, but it is clear that from 2015 forward, the regulatory and oversight environment will be significantly increased for government contractors.

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Walsh issues order protecting against wage theft in Commonwealth

Written by Remi Duhé· October 29, 2014 1:15 am

 

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order Thursday requiring city-contracted vendors to certify their compliance with both federal and state wage laws.

Vendors will be required to disclose previous violations of these laws to the City. Wage theft in the city of Boston affects workers and their families, particularly low-income and immigrant families, according to Friday press release from the mayor’s office.

“It’s illegal to deny fairly earned wages,” Walsh said in the release. “This executive order empowers workers to demand what they have worked for. I’m committed to stopping violations and holding employers to the letter of the law.”

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De Blasio’s Executive Order Will Expand Living Wage Law to Thousands More

By MATT FLEGENHEIMER   SEPT. 29, 2014

Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to sign an executive order on Tuesday significantly expanding New York City’s living wage law, covering thousands of previously exempt workers and raising the hourly wage itself, to $13.13 from $11.90, for workers who do not receive benefits.

The change is also intended to frame a looming debate in Albany, where Mr. de Blasio hopes to win the authority to set the citywide minimum wage at the same amount. If Mr. de Blasio succeeds in matching the minimum wage to the living wage, all hourly workers in the city would earn more than $15 by 2019, according to the city’s projections.

The executive order will immediately cover employees of commercial tenants on projects that receive more than $1 million in city subsidies going forward. Workers who receive benefits such as health insurance will earn $11.50 an hour, compared with $10.30 before.

While cautioning that it was “notoriously difficult to develop projections related to economic development,” the administration estimated that about 18,000 workers would be covered over the next five years, roughly 70 percent of all the jobs at businesses that will receive new financial assistance from the city’s Economic Development Corporation.

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VA Governor Signs Executive Order Establishing Inter-Agency Task Force on Worker Misclassification

Governor Terry McAuliffe has signed Executive Order 24 establishing an interagency task force on worker misclassification and payroll fraud.

“Every Virginian who works hard and follows the rules should get the pay and benefits that they deserve,” said Governor McAuliffe “This executive order will begin a process to ensure that employers throughout the Commonwealth follow the same rules when it comes to benefits and pay for their employees.”

The text of executive order number 24 is as follows:

 Importance of the Issue

The misclassification of employees as “independent contractors” undermines businesses that follow the law, deprives the Commonwealth of millions of dollars in tax revenues, and prevents workers from receiving legal protections and benefits.

A 2012 report of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) found that one third of audited employers in certain industries misclassify their employees. By failing to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, pay unemployment insurance and payroll taxes, or comply with minimum wage and overtime laws, employers lower their costs up to 40%, placing other employers at a competitive disadvantage.

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Executive Order Will Make It Harder For Federal Contractors To Violate Workers’ Rights

A new executive order from President Obama will make it harder for companies to win federal contracts if they violate their workers’ rights and withhold their wages, the White House announced Thursday.

Under the new rules, companies that apply for federal contracts larger than half a million dollars will have to disclose any major labor law violations they or their subcontractors have committed in the previous three years. Agencies will prioritize companies with clean records over those that abuse their workers’ rights when weighing contract bids. Each executive branch agency will have a specific bureaucrat in charge of determining whether a company’s lapses “rise to the level of a lack of integrity or business ethics,” according to a White House fact sheet on the rules.

The package of reforms will also prohibit companies that do business with the government from requiring their workers to agree to arbitration processes for workplace harassment or civil rights complaints, guaranteeing that workers who are sexually harassed or discriminated against can get their day in court.

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FACT SHEET: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order

Courtesy of  www.whitehouse.gov

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

While the vast majority of federal contractors play by the rules, every year tens of thousands of American workers are denied overtime wages, not hired or paid fairly because of their gender or age, or have their health and safety put at risk by corporations contracting with the federal government that cut corners.  Taxpayer dollars should not reward corporations that break the law, so today President Obama is cracking down on federal contractors who put workers’ safety and hard-earned pay at risk.

As part of this Year of Action, the President will sign an Executive Order that will require prospective federal contractors to disclose labor law violations and will give agencies more guidance on how to consider labor violations when awarding federal contracts.  Although many contractors already play by the rules, and federal contracting offers already must assess a contractor’s record of integrity, these officers still may not necessarily know about companies’ workplace violations. The new process is also structured to encourage companies to settle existing disputes, like paying back wages.  And finally, the Executive Order also ensures that workers are given the necessary information each pay period to verify the accuracy of their paycheck and workers who may have been sexually assaulted or had their civil rights violated get their day in court by putting an end to mandatory arbitration agreements at corporations with large federal contracts.

By cracking down on federal contractors who break the law, the President is helping ensure that all hardworking Americans get the fair pay and safe workplaces they deserve.

  Key Provisions of the Executive Order 

The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order will govern new federal procurement contracts valued at more than $500,000, providing information on companies’ compliance with federal labor laws for agencies.  We expect the Executive Order to be implemented on new contracts in stages, on a prioritized basis, during 2016.  The Department of Labor estimates that there are roughly 24,000 businesses with federal contracts, employing about 28 million workers.

1. Hold Corporations Accountable: Under the terms of the Executive Order, agencies will require prospective contractors to disclose labor law violations from the past three years before they can get a contract.  The 14 covered Federal statutes and equivalent state laws include those addressing wage and hour, safety and health, collective bargaining, family and medical leave, and civil rights protections.  Agencies will also require contractors to collect similar information from many of their subcontractors.

2. Crack Down on Repeat Violators: Contracting officers will take into account only the most egregious violations, and each agency will designate a senior official as a Labor Compliance Advisor to provide consistent guidance on whether contractors’ actions rise to the level of a lack of integrity or business ethics.  This advisor will support individual contracting officers in reviewing disclosures and consult with the Department of Labor.  The Executive Order will ensure that the worst actors, who repeatedly violate the rights of their workers and put them in danger, don’t get contracts and thus can’t delay important projects and waste taxpayer money.

3. Promote Efficient Federal Contracting: Federal agencies risk poor performance by awarding contracts to companies with a history of labor law violations.  In 2010, the Government Accountability Office issued a report finding that almost two-thirds of the 50 largest wage-and-hour violations and almost 40 percent of the 50 largest workplace health-and-safety penalties issued between FY 2005 and FY 2009 were at companies that went on to receive new government contracts.  Last year, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin issued a report revealing that dozens of contractors with significant health, safety, and wage and hour violations were continuing to be awarded federal contacts.  Another study detailed that 28 of the companies with the top workplace violations from FY 2005 to FY 2009 subsequently received federal contracts, and a quarter of those companies eventually had significant performance problems as well-suggesting a strong relationship between contractors with a history of labor law violations and those that cannot deliver adequate performance for the taxpayer dollars they receive.  Because the companies with workplace violations are more likely to encounter performance problems, today’s action will also improve the efficiency of federal contracting and result in greater returns on federal tax dollars.

4. Protect Responsible Contractors: The vast majority of federal contractors have clean records.  The Department of Labor estimates that the overwhelming majority of companies with federal contracts have no federal workplace violations in the past three years.  Contractors who invest in their workers’ safety and maintain a fair and equitable workplace shouldn’t have to compete with contractors who offer low-ball bids-based on savings from skirting the law-and then ultimately deliver poorer performance to taxpayers.  The Executive Order builds on the existing procurement system, so it will be familiar to contractors and will fit into established contracting practices. Responsible businesses will check a single box on a bid form indicating that they don’t have a history of labor law violations.  The Federal contracting community and other interested parties will be invited to participate in listening sessions with OMB, DOL, and senior White House officials to share views on how to ensure implementing policies and practices are both fair and effective.  DOL and other enforcement agencies along with the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council will consider this input as they draft regulations and guidance, which will be published for public comment before being finalized.

5. Focus on Helping Companies Improve: The goal of the process created by the Executive Order is to help more contractors come into compliance with workplace protections, not to deny contracts to contractors.  Companies with labor law violations will be offered the opportunity to receive early guidance on whether those violations are potentially problematic and remedy any problems.  Contracting officers will take these steps into account before awarding a contract and ensure the contractor is living up to the terms of its agreement.

6. Give Employees a Day in Court: The Executive Order directs companies with federal contracts of $1  million or more not to require their employees to enter into predispute arbitration agreements for disputes arising out of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act or from torts related to sexual assault or harassment (except when valid contracts already exist).  This builds on a policy already passed by Congress and successfully implemented at the Department of Defense, the largest federal contracting agency, and will help improve contractors’ compliance with labor laws.

7. Give Employees Information About their Paychecks: As a normal part of doing business, most employers give their workers a pay stub with basic information about their hours and wages.  To be sure that all workers get this basic information, the Executive Order requires contractors to give their employees information concerning their hours worked, overtime hours, pay, and any additions to or deductions made from their pay, so workers can be sure they’re getting paid what they’re owed.

8. Streamline Implementation and Overall Contractor Reporting: The Executive Order directs the General Services Administration to develop a single website for contractors to meet their reporting requirements-for this order and for other contractor reporting.  Contractors will only have to provide information to one location, even if they hold multiple contracts across different agencies.  The desire to “report once in one place” is a key theme in the feedback received from current and potential contractors.  This step is one in a series of actions to make the federal marketplace more attractive to the best contractors, more accessible to small businesses and other new entrants, and more affordable to taxpayers.

Part of the basic American bargain is that if you take responsibility, work hard and play by the rules, workers can count on fair wages, freedom from discrimination on the job, and safe and equitable workplaces. Taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used by unscrupulous employers to drive down living standards for our families, neighbors, and communities.  By creating incentives for better compliance and a process for helping contractors come into compliance with basic workplace protection laws, the Executive Order is basic good government that will increase efficiency in federal contracting and will help strengthen our workforce and our economy.

US Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez Announces Proposed Rule to Raise the Minimum Wage for Federal Contract Workers

WASHINGTON – Fulfilling President Obama’s commitment to make 2014 a year of action to strengthen the economy and grow the middle class, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez today announced a proposed rule raising the minimum wage for workers on federal service and construction contracts to $10.10 per hour. The proposed rule implements Executive Order 13658, which was announced by the president on Feb. 12.

“A core American value is that hard work should be rewarded with fair pay. And as the president said in his State of the Union address, if you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty,” said Secretary Perez. “Raising the minimum wage for workers on federal contracts will provide a much needed boost to many who are working hard, but still struggle to get by, and it will also benefit taxpayers with improved employee retention and productivity. Today the department took an important step toward making the promise of the executive order a reality for thousands of workers.”

“In America, nobody who works full time should have to raise their family in poverty,” said White House Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Muñoz. “President Obama is leading by example, raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers, and governors, mayors and businesses around the country are answering the call to join him. Now it’s time for Congress to finish the job and raise the wage for everyone.”