For Immediate Release: May 27, 2015

AAJ STATEMENT ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FAIR PAY AND SAFE WORKPLACES EXECUTIVE ORDER

Contact:
Tanea Jackson
Email:
media.replies@justice.org
Phone:
202-684-9588
Washington, DC — The following is a statement from American Association for Justice President Lisa Blue on today’s release of the plan to implement the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order including the Department of Labor’s proposed guidance and the FAR Council’s proposed rule to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR):
 
"The American Association for Justice strongly supports the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, and we applaud the Administration’s release of its proposed plan to ensure that up to 26 million Americans employed by federal contractors are compensated fairly, and better protected from workplace discrimination and violence.
 
“The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order will help level the playing field for companies that treat their employees fairly, and will ensure that employees of federal contractors can hold those corporations accountable for egregious cases of abuse by prohibiting the use of forced arbitration in disputes involving discrimination, sexual harassment, and assault. 
 
“It is offensive that federal government contractors who are willing to take millions of tax dollars would deny employees their right to hold them accountable in court, and we applaud the Administration for standing up for taxpayers and workers by prohibiting contractors from engaging in this un-American practice.
 
Background on Forced Arbitration
 
The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order prohibits corporations with federal contracts of $1 million or more from subjecting their employees to forced arbitration for accusations of employment discrimination or civil suits related to sexual assault or harassment. 
 
The Department of Labor estimates that there are roughly 24,000 businesses with federal contracts, employing about 26 million workers. 
 
In addition to the ban on forced arbitration for disputes under Title VII, and sexual assault and harassment, the Executive Order will:
 
  • Require prospective contractors and their subcontractors to disclose labor law violations from the past three years before they are awarded a federal government contract. 
  • Ensure that corporations that repeatedly violate the rights of their employees and disregard workplace safety don’t receive federal government contracts.
  • Require corporations to provide employees with information concerning their hours worked, overtime hours, pay, and any additions to or deductions made from their pay so employees can be sure they’re getting paid what they’re owed.
  • Because corporations with workplace violations are more likely to encounter performance problems, today’s action will also improve the efficiency of federal contracting and result in savings to American taxpayers

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The American Association for Justice works to preserve the constitutional right to trial by jury and to make sure people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others—even when it means taking on the most powerful corporations. Visit http://www.justice.org