Biz groups weigh lawsuit over ‘blacklisting’ rule

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Industry groups are considering taking the Obama administration to court after regulators finalized a rule Wednesday that requires contractors seeking to do business with the government to report any labor law violations from the past three years.

Groups including the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) claim the rule “blacklists” prospective firms from the procurement process.

{mosads}“Although we are still analyzing the finalized rule, it is clear that this regulation is dangerous for manufacturers,” Patrick Forrest, NAM’s vice president and deputy general counsel, said in a statement to The Hill. “We need a solution and are looking at all options, including litigation and legislation.”

ABC said it too is “looking at litigation options,” but will first review the rule from the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council and subsequent guidance from the Labor Department, which total 800 pages.

The rule is a byproduct of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order President Obama issued in July 2014. It requires prospective contractors to report any violation of the 14 basic workplace protections, including wage and hour, safety and health, collective bargaining, family and medical leave, and civil rights protections.

GOP lawmakers on the House Education and the Workforce Committee sided with industry groups Friday, calling the rule a “flawed regulatory policy.”

“This redundant, unnecessary and unworkable regulatory scheme isn’t about protecting the rights of workers. It’s about growing government and promoting a culture of union favoritism,” Chairman Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) and labor subcommittee Chairman Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) said in a joint statement.

“Flawed regulatory policies like these will only tie law-abiding employers in a maze of red tape and make a system intended to protect workers less efficient.”


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