Government Contractor Update

SHRM Testifies Before House Committee on Executive Order Mandating New Federal Contractor Reports

Oct 2, 2015

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, SHRM member Debbie Norris (pictured below talking with Rep. Cresent Hardy of Nev. and a fellow witness) testified on behalf of SHRM before two subcommittees of the House Committee on Small Business. The hearing, titled The Blacklist: Are Small Businesses Guilty Until Proven Innocent?, focused on the impact that the President’s executive order, “Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces,” will have on small businesses that manage and compete for federal contracts. Ms. Norris is Vice President of Human Resources at Merrick & Company, a small federal contractor located outside of Denver, Colorado and a member of SHRM’s Advocacy Team.

The Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces executive order has raised concerns among many in the HR and federal contracting communities. In August, SHRM, the Council for Global Immigration (CFGI), and College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) submitted comments to the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council) and the Department of Labor (DOL) on regulations and guidance designed to implement the Executive Order.

In testimony before the House Committee, SHRM reiterated many of the concerns raised in our comment letter and focused on the unprecedented data collection requirements in which contractors are required to report agency actions taken against them on the basis of 14 different federal labor laws (and later, their state equivalents). Additional concerns addressed the discretion given newly-created Agency Labor Compliance Advisors who will advise contracting officers on whether employers have appropriate “integrity and business ethics” to be federal contractors. In July, Ms. Norris was also able to express the unique concerns of small business contractors on behalf of SHRM, before the Small Business Administration’s Roundtable examining the executive order. The House hearing’s second panel featured witnesses from the FAR Council and DOL who indicated that the agencies are reviewing stakeholder input as they develop a final rule.

An archived version of the House hearing and other information is available on the Committee website.

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