Contractor Intelligence

  • December 28, 2016

    New Year's Resolutions to Improve Government Contracts Labor Law Compliance in 2017

    Shlomo Katz

    As we have written here in years past, “experts” say that roughly 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Supposedly, more than half of these resolutions are abandoned by the middle of the year, but those same experts say that making resolutions is useful because people who make resolutions are ten times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t make resolutions.

  • October 7, 2016

    Compliance with Labor Laws E.O. Takes Effect: What to Do Now

    Shlomo Katz

    Executive Order 13673, “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” (79 Fed. Reg. 45,309), signed by President Obama on July 31, 2014 has now taken effect, at least in part. This article will not attempt to summarize the hundreds of pages of regulations and U.S. Department of Labor guidance that implement that order. Instead, we offer a few practical pointers for contractors and subcontractors who are worried about what the future holds under this new regime.

    Requirements

    To review, the executive order imposes three new, unrelated requirements on covered government contractors.

  • June 28, 2016

    New Requirements for Exemption Have Special Impact on Government Contractors

    Shlomo Katz

    On May 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor published its long awaited changes to the regulations that govern whether employees are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA is the federal law that requires employers to pay covered employees — more than 100 million workers nationwide — no less than the federal minimum wage and to pay premium overtime compensation when covered employees work more than 40 hours in a workweek. If an employee is “exempt,” he can be required to work beyond 40 hours with no extra pay.

  • June 28, 2016

    It's Not a “Public Work” if It's Not Public

    Shlomo Katz

    The Davis-Bacon Act requires the payment of prevailing wages and fringe benefits to mechanics and laborers on every federal or District of Columbia contract in excess of $2,000 that is for construction, alteration or repair, including painting and decorating of “public buildings and public works” of the federal government or the District of Columbia (40 U.S.C. §3142(a)). Naturally, applying this statute requires defining “public work.”

    The U.S Department of Labor’s regulations define “public building” or “public work” as a “building or work” whose “construction, prosecution, completion, or repair” is carried on directly by authority of or with funds of a federal agency or the District of Columbia to serve the interest of the general public regardless of whether a federal agency or the District of Columbia has, or will have, title to the building or work (see 29 CFR § 5.2(k)).

  • March 28, 2016

    Proposed Regulations to Implement the Sick Leave Executive Order

    Shlomo Katz

    On Labor Day last year, President Obama signed Executive Order 13706, “Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors.” E.O. 13706 requires employers that enter into covered contracts with the federal government to provide covered employees with up to seven days of paid sick leave annually, including paid leave for family care. The executive order directed the U.S. Department of Labor to publish regulations further defining contractors’ obligations relating to paid sick leave.          

    On Feb. 25, 2016, DOL complied with the president’s direction and published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (81 Fed. Reg. 9592).

  • January 6, 2016

    Gazing in the Crystal Ball to See What 2016 Holds for Federal Contractors

    Shlomo Katz

    The year 2015 was a busy one for the U.S. Department of Labor, the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council, private litigants, the courts and lobbyists for both employers and employees — indeed, for anyone with an interest in the laws that govern contractors’ labor law obligations. Don’t expect less excitement in 2016!

    Indeed, while many contractors and other employers will be happy to see 2015 in the rear-view mirror, the drama is just beginning for others. One reason is that 8,781 new Fair Labor Standards Act suits were filed in federal courts during the federal government’s fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2015.

  • October 8, 2015

    Government Contractors Are Employers Too: FMLA Twist Carries Risks

    Shlomo Katz

    The Family and Medical Leave Act is not a “government contracts law” like the Service Contract Act (see ¶200 of the Federal Contractor's Guide to Employment Law Compliance) or the Davis-Bacon Act (see ¶300). Rather, the FMLA entitles eligible employees of all covered employers — whether they do purely commercial work, government work, or both — to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.


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