Contractors Federal agencies

Senators push DOL for action on Executive Order for federal contractors

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Patty Murray

Washington – A group of senators is calling on the Department of Labor to take additional steps to implement an Executive Order that would require federal agencies to consider an employer’s safety record before awarding contracts.

President Barack Obama issued the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order last summer. It will require all employers seeking a federal contract valued at more than $500,000 to disclose violations cited by any DOL agency in the previous three years. The White House has said it expects the Executive Order to be implemented in 2016.

In a letter sent March 26, the senators urged Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez to issue guidance to federal agencies and work with the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to craft rules related to the order. The letter was written by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), and signed by 18 other Senate Democrats as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

A 2013 Senate committee investigation found that nearly one-third of companies that received the highest penalties for federal labor law violations were federal contractors. The Executive Order will ensure federal agencies consider an employer’s safety and wage record during the contracting process, Murray’s letter states.