Congress Votes to Repeal Blacklisting Rule

Source: AGC of America

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:  Brian Turmail  (703) 459-0238;

Monday, March 6, 2017


Congressional Review Act Measure Repealing the Obama Administration’s So-Called “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Rule Protects Innocent Firms from Being Debarred by Unsubstantiated Allegations

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in response to passage tonight of a Congressional Review Act measure repealing the Obama Administration’s so-called “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” rule:

“Congress has wisely voted to preserve the integrity and fairness of the federal contracting process by voting to repeal former President Obama’s blacklisting rule.  This measure, the so-called Fair Pay and Safety Workplaces rule, would have allowed government officials to debar, or blacklist, construction companies from bidding on federal projects based on the mere allegation of labor law violations without any due process.

“To be clear, there should be no place in federal contracting for unsafe or unscrupulous firms.  Yet the former President’s measure did nothing to reform or improve the existing suspension and debarment process.  Instead, it created a new layer of bureaucracy that would have given federal officials broad discretion to punish construction firms based on any number of unsubstantiated allegations without establishing a process for those firms to defend themselves.  That is why the Associated General Contractors worked so aggressively to push for passage of today’s repeal measure.

“We urge President Trump to sign this measure into law as quickly as possible.”


Federal Court Temporarily Halts Overtime Rule

Source: AGC of America

On November 22, a federal judge issued a nationwide injunction against the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) overtime rule, which was scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016. As a result of this court order, implementation of the rule is effectively halted. However, the injunction is a temporary measure that suspends the regulation until litigation comes to a close. DOL has said that it is currently “considering all of [its] legal options.” At this time, it is unclear if or when the rule will take effect.

The most significant change under rule is a doubling of the standard salary threshold for exempt employees – from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year). Many AGC contractors had already taken steps to implement this rule, such as by reducing employee hours or notifying employees of salary increases. Given the uncertain path ahead, those contractors may want to re-evaluate the overall impact of the changes made and either roll-back or keep those implementation efforts in place, considering both the impact on the company’s bottom line as well as employee morale.

It is not clear how President Trump will proceed as this is a rule that pits Trump, the populist, against Trump, the businessman.  On the campaign trail, he did not clearly oppose or support the rule. Nevertheless, AGC has and will continue to support legislation and regulatory changes to lower the overtime threshold and gradually phase in the requirement over several years.

For more AGC information on this rule, click here. For more AGC information on the regulatory road between now and Inauguration Day, click here.

Court Halts Blacklisting Executive Order

On October 24, the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas granted a request for preliminary injunction against parts of the Obama Administration’s implementation of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, or “Blacklisting” as it is known, Executive Order. As a result direct federal contractors will not—at this time—be required to report labor law violations with their bids on federal contract solicitations and awards.

In addition, the court halted the federal government from enforcing the order’s requirement regarding contractor arbitration agreements with employees covering disputes arising out of sexual assault or harassment disputes, among other things. The court, however, does not bar implementation of the order’s paycheck transparency requirement scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2017.

The Obama Administration will very likely take steps to counter this court order. The situation, therefore, remains fluid. It is unclear how long implementation of this Executive Order and its various requirements will be delayed. The court order certainly delays implementation of the labor law violation reporting for solicitations on contracts exceeding $50 million issued on or after October 25 and the arbitration agreement requirement also scheduled to take effect October 25. Nevertheless, it remains undetermined how or if this court order will impact other implementation deadlines. To review when those deadlines as currently scheduled, see AGC’s comprehensive review of the EO here.

AGC and other business groups are currently determining how best to proceed, including whether to file another case separately and/or bolster the current legal effort. Ultimately, AGC’s goal remains not only temporary relief, but the complete dismantling of this unconstitutional executive order and its unnecessary regulatory regime.

For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at 703-837-5325.

Blacklisting Executive Order – What’s AGC Doing About It?

Source: AGC of America

Federal Contractors Face Additional Sanctions Under Final Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Regulation – Webinar Wednesday
TAKE ACTION: Urge Congress to Block Application of this EO

AGC has compiled a detailed analysis of the more than 850 pages of final regulations the Obama Administration issued last week to implement the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (Blacklisting) Executive Order and will host a complementary webinar for AGC members on September 7. AGC members are encouraged to contact their U.S. Representative and Senators to support AGC legislative efforts to block the implementing regulations for this Executive Order from coming into effect as soon as Oct. 25, 2016.

As it stands, AGC-backed provisions in the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act—a bill passed 54 consecutively years that helps fund the Department of Defense (DOD)—would generally prohibit application of the Executive Order and its implementing regulations on DOD contracts and most DOD contractors. AGC and its industry coalition allies are working to extend that restriction to all federal contracts and contractors government-wide. AGC is also part of an employer-wide coalition that is currently reviewing possible legal options to blocking implementation of this rule.

While AGC will continue its efforts to combat this Order on the legislative and legal fronts, AGC members must plan accordingly in the event these regulations come into effect. AGC will post updates and analysis of this rule at our website:

For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at 703-837-5325 or