Trump signature strikes down Obama contractor order

Rule would have required safety violation disclosures

President Donald Trump signed legislation Monday to eliminate a worker safety rule issued during the Obama administration that required contractors to disclose safety violations before they work for federal agencies.

The Fair Pay and Safe Workplace rule -- also known as the “blacklisting” to critics -- was finalized under executive order in August 2016 but a majority of it was blocked from implementation by a federal court ruling two months later.

That ruling did not cover a portion of the rule that dealt with pay transparency.

Trump’s signature comes nearly two weeks after the Senate approved a measure to kill the rule, which may not be reissued in substantially the same form without explicit authorization from Congress as mandated by the Congressional Review Act.

Industry groups such as the Professional Services Council opposed the rule on concerns it would lead to burdensome compliance costs and requirements on contractors.

PSC specifically objected to the rule “because it failed to provide due process protections” for contractors, the trade association said in a statement Monday.

“The regulation would not have helped the Labor Department’s existing labor law enforcement, and it would have further slowed the acquisition process, elevated unsubstantiated allegations to the same status as convictions, and imposed new and unnecessary requirements on contracting officers and contractors,” PSC CEO David Berteau said in that statement.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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