Press Statement
New Federal Contract Regulations ‘Significantly Strengthen Our Nation’s Commitment to Fairness,’ Women’s Leader Says

“No company that egregiously or repeatedly violates our nation’s labor laws should benefit from a federal contract, and the final regulations issued today by the U.S. Department of Labor will help prevent that from happening in the future. These regulations significantly strengthen our nation’s commitment to fairness. They are critically important and extremely reasonable, and their implementation will benefit millions of women and families, taxpayers and the entire nation.

More than one in five people in this country are employed by companies that contract with the federal government. Yet government studies show that federal contractors are some of the worst offenders when it comes to labor law violations, and many federal contract jobs pay low wages and offer few supports. In fact, one in five people employed by federal contractors are paid wages that fall below the poverty level, and many of them are women. These new regulations will help to improve conditions among the federal contracting workforce by holding companies accountable for wage, safety and other labor law violations and incentivizing appropriate and lawful employer conduct.

Federal contractors that play by the rules have no reason to fear these new regulations. In fact, the regulations will help level the playing field for responsible employers by making it less likely that federal contracts will be awarded to companies that have severely or continually violated federal workplace laws – such as the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act – or required mandatory, pre-dispute arbitration agreements for victims of certain civil rights violations, sexual assault or sexual harassment. Respect for our nation’s labor laws will be rewarded, and bad actors will be encouraged to comply with them.

We applaud President Obama and the Labor Department for their continued leadership and commitment to ensuring working people in this country are treated fairly and supported. Today’s action will help millions of workers and their families, but as a nation we still have a long way to go to truly make our workplaces fair and family friendly for all working people. When members of Congress return to work next month, we hope they will take meaningful action by passing the common sense policies the country’s working families need.”

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About the National Partnership for Women & Families

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family.

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