Any company that directly or indirectly sells goods and services to the federal government or works on federal construction projects can breathe a sigh of relief. On March 27, 2017, President Trump repealed the "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces" regulations issued by Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Contractors came to know the regulations as the "Blacklisting" rule because they required covered contractors to, among other things, disclose federal employment and labor law violations as part of the bidding process, comply with so-called pay transparency obligations, and limit the use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements. On October 24, 2016, a court granted an injunction on some of these obligations. Our prior alert on the regulations and the injunction is available here. With the stroke of a pen, the regulations are no more.
The House of Representatives and the Senate passed the bill eliminating the rule under the Congressional Review Act. The President signed it as part of his effort to roll back regulations published in the waning days of the Obama Administration. Any contractors that modified their terms and conditions to incorporate the "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces" obligations should remove those requirements. Companies that sell to the federal government or perform federal construction projects should be certain to read the fine print of other companies' terms and conditions so they do not agree to obligations as a matter of contract that do not exist as a matter of law. Companies also should update their terms and conditions if they have not done so for a few years.