Federal contractors would have to inform their employees of their right to openly discuss pay in the workplace without fear of retaliation under new proposed rules from the Labor Department.
Firms that do business with the federal government would have to incorporate the new non-discrimination language in their existing employee handbooks and disseminate the information, either electronically or by publicly posting a copy of the requirement, according to draft rules published in the Federal Register. They also would have to include the provision in the existing equal opportunity clause in their contracts. The proposed regulations implement an executive order signed by President Obama in April that protects employees of federal contractors who disclose their pay, or the compensation of other workers, from being fired or otherwise retaliated against by employers.
The proposed rule would apply to all federal contractors that do more than $10,000 worth of business with the government. Approximately 500,000 contractors are registered with the General Services Administration.