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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

Final Rule on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order Issued

September 15, 2016

The final rule implementing the Obama administration’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order was issued on August 25 with accompanying implementation guidance from the Department of Labor (DOL).

The primary feature of the new rule requires businesses seeking to work with the federal government to report any labor law violations in the previous three years, including minor infractions. The rule applies only to infractions stemming from contracts worth at least $50 million for the first six months  the rule is enacted (Oct. 25, 2016-April 25, 2017) but will apply to contracts worth $500,000 or more afterward. 

While many business industry groups and associations protest the rule as a way for the federal government to “blacklist” potential contractors during the bidding and procurement process, officials state that the purpose of the rule is to increase government efficiency, ensure fair wages, and protect worker safety and civil rights. 

Other sections of the rule include a prohibition on pre-dispute arbitration contract clauses, an eventual phasing out of the requirement to report state labor law violations, and paycheck transparency requirements.  

The rule goes into effect for prime contractors on October 25; implementation for subcontractors will begin a year later on October 26, 2017. Additional guidance is available at DOL’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces webpage.


Liz Clark
Senior Director, Federal Affairs