Earlier today, the Department of Labor along with federal procurement agencies released what we believe to be terrific new rules that flesh out—and give teeth to—the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order signed by the President last July. (Executive Order 13673).
In short, the new guidelines and regulations: (1) prevent corporations who are serial violators of worker safety and wage theft laws from obtaining federal contracts; and (2) ban the use of forced arbitration clauses by federal contractors.
Both of these rules go a long way to ensure workers’ rights, along with their ability to redress violations and harms. Indeed, the Department of Labor reports that nearly two-thirds of the 50 largest wage and hour violations, and almost 40% of the 50 largest worker safety violations, occurred at companies that later received federal contracts. And if you are a regular follower of this blog (or if you are at all concerned about your disappearing 7th Amendment rights), you need no explanation of the importance of our ongoing fight against forced arbitration clauses in contracts.
Wexler Wallace applauds the Administration today for doing something to help protect the civil rights of employees (if only federal employees), make work places safer, and fight against wage theft.
For a link to the regulations, click here. And for additional commentary on this development, see this recent Huffington Post blog written by Wexler Wallace’s colleague in the fight against forced arbitration, Paul Bland of Public Justice.