The regulation was meant to ensure that shady employers don’t benefit from taxpayer dollars.
By Dave Jamieson
POLITICS | 03/27/2017
WASHINGTON – Companies that commit wage theft and put their workers in harm’s way just received a favor from the Trump administration.
President Donald Trump signed a bill Monday repealing a regulation that had encouraged federal contractors to follow labor laws. Under the Obama-era rule, companies with an egregious record of violating wage and safety laws would lose their government contracts if they didn’t come into compliance.
The idea behind the rule was to make sure unscrupulous employers didn’t receive taxpayer dollars. But Republicans in Congress thought the rule was too punitive and unfair to businesses. They used an arcane tool known as the Congressional Review Act in an effort to kill the regulation, which was called the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule.
By approving the legislation sent to him by the Senate, Trump has ensured not only that the regulation will die, but also that no similar regulation can be put forth by the Labor Department again. Trump signed the legislation at a White House ceremony in front of the press.
“When President Trump has a chance to stand with workers, he chooses not to,” Heidi Shierholz, a labor policy expert at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, said in a statement. “By blocking this rule, the president and congressional Republicans will ensure that taxpayers will continue to support contractors with a history of wage theft and health and safety violations.”