DOL Issues Final Regulations regarding Contractor Obligation to Notify Employees of Organizing Rights (EO 13496)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On May 20, 2010, the Department of Labor issued final regulations implementing Executive Order 13496.  The Order states that it is the policy of the Federal government to “encourage[e] the practice and procedure of collective bargaining and . . . protecting the exercise by workers of full freedom of association, self-organization, and designation of representatives of their own choosing ….”   

To help accomplish these objectives, the Order requires that employers with Federal government contracts valued in excess of $100,000 post a Notice at worksites where activities “related to” the contract are performed.  The Notice sets forth details of the right of employees to unionize and states “[t]he NLRA guarantees the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively with their employers, and to engage in other protected concerted activity.”  The Notice lists examples of prohibited employer conduct and provides contact information for those wishing to file a complaint. Subcontractors who perform work “necessary to” the primary contract will also be covered as long as their contract exceeds the “de minimis” value of $10,000.

Covered employers who do not post a Notice may lose individual contracts or be debarred from all Federal contracts.  An employer may also be debarred if it violates the terms of the Notice or otherwise interferes with the right of employees to unionize.

Commencing June 19, 2010, covered employers will be required to post the Notice as soon as they sign a covered contract or modify an existing contract.

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