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Executive order addresses federal contractor practices

An Indiana employee dealing with a workplace challenge related to national labor laws may wonder whether standing up for personal rights will make much difference, especially when dealing with a federal contractor or subcontractor. Workers in such situations may find a boost in confidence based on an Executive Order signed at the end of July 2014. While the implementation of this order is due to take effect in 2016, contractors interested in obtaining or maintaining contracts may begin assessing issues such as employment disputes now.

According to the order, a prospective contractor will be required to submit a report of employment-related violations for the three years preceding the bid period. This information is to be reviewed again upon awarding of a contract and every six months thereafter. Violations of employment laws at the state and federal level could lead to ineligibility for federal contract awards. As contractors update their information, labor advisors and contract officers will need to evaluate the necessity for remedial action such as compliance assistance, contract termination or suspension.

Reports indicate that involved agencies will hold sessions to hear and discuss related implementation issues and concerns. Current compliance should also be reviewed as companies endeavor to remain in position to qualify for federal contracts. Meanwhile, workers experiencing negative circumstances in the workplace in connection with the laws included in this new Executive Order may find that there will be more attentiveness to their concerns as employers consider the implications of workplace violations.

An employee dealing with an issue such as workplace discrimination or unfair work practices may want to meet with an employment lawyer if supervisors are ignoring a serious violation. A lawyer may provide strategies for effectively utilizing company infrastructure to address an employment problem. Additionally, a lawyer may file appropriate claims if a valid concern continues to be ignored.

Source: The National Law Review, "President Obama Signs Executive Order on Federal Contractor Blacklisting", August 01, 2014

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