Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order makes contracting system more accountable

Posted August 24, 2016 at 4:40 pm
by Ross Eisenbrey

The final rule implementing President Obama’s executive order on fair pay and safe workplaces has been issued, along with guidance from the Department of Labor. This is a big deal, affecting as many as 28 million employees in the workforce of hundreds of thousands of government contractors.

The executive order puts in place a commonsense principle: when choosing which companies to do business with, choose the ones that follow the rules rather than the law breakers. Tax dollars should go to contractors with a record of integrity and business ethics, and should not be spent on bad actors. The executive order makes it clear that violations of labor law are an indication of bad ethics and a lack of integrity that must be considered when contracts are awarded.

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Civil and Human Rights Coalition Applauds Implementation of Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order

Contact: Scott Simpson
August 24, 2016

WASHINGTON – Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Labor’s release of regulations governing the implementation of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which ensures that federal contractors comply with workplace safety and fair pay laws:

“This is good news for working people and for the entire country. One in five Americans is employed by a federal contractor and this will help protect millions of workers from wage abuse, workplace discrimination, and unsafe working conditions. This measure is a major step forward in ensuring that federal contractors provide fair and safe conditions for their employees. And for businesses that play by the rules, there will be no burden from implementing these new regulations.

This is a commonsense step to protecting workers and boosting our economy. The Leadership Conference coalition of more than 200 national civil rights groups is proud to support it.”

Nancy Zirkin is executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference, visit www.civilrights.org.

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US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, NORTH CAROLINA INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION SIGN AGREEMENT TO PROTECT WORKERS FROM MISCLASSIFICATION

WHD News Brief: 08/31/2016
Release Number: 16-1411-NAT

Participants: U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division
North Carolina Industrial Commission

Partnership description: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and the North Carolina Industrial Commission signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding intended to protect employees’ rights by preventing their misclassification as independent contractors or other non-employee statuses. The two agencies will provide clear, accurate and easy-to-access outreach to employers, employees and other stakeholders; share resources; and enhance enforcement by conducting coordinated investigations and sharing information consistent with applicable law.

Background: The division is working with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and 32 other U.S. states to combat employee misclassification and to ensure that workers get the wages, benefits and protections to which they are entitled. Labeling employees as something they are not – such as independent contractors – can deny them basic rights such as minimum wage, overtime and other benefits. Misclassification also improperly lowers tax revenues to federal and state governments, and creates losses for state unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation funds.

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US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, OKLAHOMA EMPLOYMENT SECURITY COMMISSION SIGN AGREEMENT TO PROTECT WORKERS FROM MISCLASSIFICATION

Date: 09/13/2016
Release Number: 16-1764-NAT

Participants: U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division
Oklahoma Employment Security Commission

Partnership description: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding intended to protect employees’ rights and level the playing field for employers by preventing worker misclassification as independent contractors or other non-employee statuses. The two agencies will provide clear, accurate and easy-to-access outreach to employers, employees and other stakeholders; share resources; and enhance enforcement by conducting coordinated investigations and sharing information consistent with applicable law.

Background: The division is working with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and 34 other U.S. states to combat employee misclassification and to ensure that workers get the wages, benefits and protections to which they are entitled. Labeling employees as something they are not – such as independent contractors – can deny them basic rights such as minimum wage, overtime and other benefits. Misclassification also lowers tax revenue to federal and state governments improperly, and creates losses for state unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation funds.

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US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH NEBRASKA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR TO PROTECT WORKERS FROM MISCLASSIFICATION

WHD News Brief: 09/01/2016
Release Number: 16-1410-NAT

Participants: U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division
Nebraska Department of Labor

Partnership description: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and the Nebraska Department of Labor signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding intended to protect employees’ rights by preventing their misclassification as independent contractors or other non-employee statuses. The two agencies will provide clear, accurate and easy-to-access outreach to employers, employees and other stakeholders; share resources; and enhance enforcement by conducting coordinated investigations and sharing information consistent with applicable law.

Background: The division is working with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and 33 other U.S. states to combat employee misclassification and to ensure that workers get the wages, benefits and protections to which they are entitled. Labeling employees as something they are not – such as independent contractors – can deny them basic rights such as minimum wage, overtime and other benefits. Misclassification also improperly lowers tax revenues to federal and state governments, and creates losses for state unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation funds.

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USDOL Wage & Hour Division – Myths About Misclassification – Updated

Dr. David Weil
Administrator
Wage and Hour Division
9/7/2016

As you know, the misclassification of employees as independent contractors is a serious problem our country is facing, affecting workers, employers, and the entire economy.

Misclassified employees often are denied access to critical benefits and protections to which they are entitled, such as the minimum wage, overtime compensation, family and medical leave, unemployment insurance, and safe workplaces. Employee misclassification generates substantial losses to the federal, state, and local governments in the form of lower tax revenues, as well as to state unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation funds. It hurts taxpayers and undermines the economy.

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division wants to clear up confusion about who is an employee and who is an independent contractor. Visit our Myths About Misclassification webpage and download our one-page flyer Get the Facts on Misclassification to view common myths and the truths that dispel each myth.

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(Fact Sheet)