For government contractors, subcontractors, and service providers interested in providing public comments on the Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces proposed rule, the comment period now expires August 11. See here for details: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAR-2014-0025-0017
Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces, if passed as proposed, would impose a rolling set of internal data gathering and reporting obligations on contractors and subcontractors in the federal marketplace concerning their history of labor and safety violations. The data would feed robust pre-award contracting officer-level responsibility determinations, and eventual consideration of suspension and debarment. The proposed rule also has paycheck transparency and mediation consent requirements for certain categories of employees, contractors, and violations.
DoL has always had the ability to suspend/debar contractors for labor violations, but did not use the power with any frequency. This proposed rule is somewhat of a reaction to that dynamic. This practitioner (and former acting Suspending/Debarring Official) is particularly concerned with (1) the aggressive language used in several of the remedial measures/mitigating factors, (2) the cost of compliance on contractors and subcontractors, and (3) the relative lack of legal support for questioning FAR 9.1 nonresponsibility determinations.