On Oct. 24, 2016, Judge Marcia Crone of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas enjoined federal agencies from implementing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule as it relates to contractors’ and subcontractors’ obligations (1) to report “labor law violations” to the Department of Labor and (2) to not enter into pre-dispute arbitration agreements with employees covering Title VII or tort-based sexual harassment/assault claims. Enforcement of both provisions was to begin Oct. 25, 2016. In light of this development, federal contractors should prepare to object to the inclusion of Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces requirements relating to these two provisions in solicitations issued Oct. 25, 2016, or later. The injunction will remain in place as litigation continues in Associated Builders and Contractors of Southeast Texas, et al. v. Rung, et al., No. 1:16-cv-00425 (E.D. Tex. Oct. 24, 2016).
Notably, the order expressly declined to enjoin the paycheck transparency requirement, so federal contractors must continue to prepare for implementation of that provision beginning Jan. 1, 2017.
For more details on the rule, see our law update from Sept. 16, 2016: “Who Says Blacklisting Is a Thing of the Past? The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule Is Final.”
This law update was co-authored by Taft partners Suzanne Sumner and Barbara Duncombe, with contributions from Taft’s Tony Busch.