Even though the DOL has not been cleared to issue its contentious blacklisting rule under President Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order (“the Blacklisting Rule”) – and despite legal and congressional challenges – the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) is forging ahead with its own plan to collect data that could tarnish federal contractors and bidders as a company with a history of labor disputes.
Under the Blacklisting Rule, federal contractors bidding on jobs worth at least $500,000 are required to report data on labor violations, such as citations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in their contract bids. The federal government plans to implement the rule partly by compiling contractors’ information in a DOL database; newly appointed Labor Compliance Advisors at contracting agencies will use that data as part of determining contractor “responsibility” in awarding federal jobs. The DOL has a pending rule under White House review to carry out Obama’s Order and does not yet have the go-ahead to implement this new database.
Still, in a pro-labor friendly move that is not uncommon of the NLRB in recent years, the agency has started to collect data under the Blacklisting Rule’s disputed tracking system. Continue reading