Trump Axes “Fair Play and Safe Workplaces” Act

May 31, 2017

The initiative, launched under President Obama, has been repealed.

The Fair Play and Safe Workplaces Act was signed into law by President Obama in 2014.

As Edward T. DeLisle and Carl J. Vernetti report in the Federal Construction Contracting Blog, both houses of Congress “have passed measures blocking the order from taking effect…”

“On March 27, Trump revoked the 2014 Fair Play and Safe Workplaces then-President Obama put in place to ensure that companies with federal contracts comply with 14 labor and civil rights laws.” (Mary Emily O’Hara reporting for nbcnews.com)

The Act had three main provisions—

  1. It required federal contractors under the “blackball rule” to “report labor law violations” by themselves or their subcontractors according to the stipulations in a number of “federal employment and labor laws.”
  2. It restricted the use of binding arbitration provisions in employment contracts to keep labor disputes private and unavailable for public scrutiny.
  3. It created “’paycheck transparency’” that required contractors to make records of wages paid to employees on government contracts available to the public. (Federal Construction Contracting Blog).

According to Ms. O’Hara, the repeal of the Fair Play and Safe Workplaces Act is a major setback for the effort to obtain equal rights for women in the workplace. She quotes “Noreen Farrell, director of the antidiscrimination law firm Equal Rights Advocates… ‘We have an executive order that essentially forces women to pay to keep companies in business that discriminate against them, with their own tax dollars…It’s an outrage.’” (nbcnews.com)

This action, by the Republican Congress and President Tump, to reduce regulations shackling businesses may have the effect, unintended or not, of making it more difficult for women to obtain equal pay and file sex-discrimination suits against contractors working for the federal government.

Sources—

The End is Near for “Fair Play and Safe Workplaces,” Edward DeLisle and Carl J. Vernetti, Federal Construction Contracting Blog, March 16, 2017.

Trump Pulls Back Obama-Era Protections for Women Workers, Mary Emily O’Hara, nbcnews.com, April 3, 2107.