By a narrow margin of 49-48, the Senate has voted to “disapprove” President Obama’s much challenged Executive Order 13673: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, which required the mandatory reporting of labor violations for contractors going through the contract procurement process. Relying on the power granted it by the Congressional Review Act, Congress has all be sealed the fate of the “blacklisting” Executive Order. The next, and final step to “undo” the Executive Order, is sign off of the disapproval resolution by President Trump. It is anticipated he will do so without much deliberation.
As reported previously, a Texas U.S. District Court in October 2016 enjoined implementation of the “labor law violation” reporting provision of the FAR Council’s final rule implementing the order, as well as the prohibition of mandatory arbitration agreements. Nonetheless, the “paycheck transparency” provisions of the order took effect for new contracts on January 17, 2017, leaving many contractors in compliance limbo.
Assuming the disapproval resolution is signed by President Trump, the long saga of this order, which President Obama signed in July 2014, will come to end: the executive order, the FAR provisions and DOL’s Guidance document will be dead; the lawsuit challenging the order will be moot; and federal contractors will be free from the burdens and obligations imposed by the order, including the paycheck transparency obligations that went into effect earlier this year.
Stay tuned for what appears will be the next, and final, chapter to this story.