February 23, 2009 / Issue No. 1-09
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AGC's 90th Annual Convention/Constructor Expo is Just Around the Corner - Are You Ready?
Goverment Contracting
Pres. Obama Lifts Ban on Government-Mandated Project Labor Agreements
Pres. Obama Issues First Labor Executive Orders
DOL Reduces Information Required on Davis-Bacon Certified Payroll Records
E-Verify Mandate for Federal Contractors Delayed Again
Employers Must Continue Using Old Form I-9 for Now
Collective Bargaining
Newly Negotiated Union Wage and Fringe Benefits Up 4.6%
ADA Amendments Now in Effect
New Act Amends Federal Regulations and Increases Possibility of Pay Discrimination Claims
Other HR
Revised FMLA Regulations Now in Effect
Cutting Costs to Avoid Lay-offs
Employer Adjustments Required by Economic Stimulus Package

  Pres. Obama Issues First Labor Executive Orders
On January 30, Pres. Obama issued three executive orders favorable to organized labor.  At least one of them could have a significant impact on federal construction contractors.

1.  Economy in Government Contracts

This order prevents federal contractors from being reimbursed for expenses incurred in trying to influence workers’ decision about whether to form a union or engage in collective bargaining, known as “persuader” activity.

2.  Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts

This order requires federal service contractors, when contracts change, to offer jobs to qualified workers already on the project.  It does not directly affect construction contractors.

3.  Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labor Laws

This order reverses Pres. George W. Bush’s executive order that required most federal contractors to post a notice informing workers of their right not to join a union or pay union dues.  (These rights are often referred to as “Beck rights” because they were largely established by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1988 decision in Communications Workers v. Beck.)  It also directs contracting agencies to include a new clause in all federal contracts that (a) requires contractors to post a new notice to be developed by the Secretary of Labor and (b) establishes broad contractual remedies for a contractor’s failure to post or abide by the notice.  It further requires the Secretary of Labor to issue rules, regulations, and orders as needed to implement the executive order.

AGC is concerned about the order’s vagueness regarding the content of the new notice and regulations to be issued by the Secretary of Labor.  The order merely indicates that they will address employee rights “under Federal labor laws, including the National Labor Relations Act.”  AGC is also concerned about the extreme remedies established for failure to post or abide by the notice, which include contract termination and debarment.  AGC is following the matter closely and will take action as needed. [ return to top ]