President Barack Obama took office in 2009 promising to regulate only when necessary, but federal contractors say he is using regulation now to promote his social agenda.
“There is, I think, a long history of trying to enact change, policy you can’t get through Congress, by looking to federal contractors first,” said Michael Eastman, vice president of public policy at the Equal Employment Advisory Council (EEAC), which represents federal contractors.
Case in point is the president’s Executive Order No. 13,673 on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces. The order, signed on July 31, 2014, is intended to ensure contractors comply with 14 federal labor laws or equivalent state laws.
The proposed regulation implementing the order cites three studies as proof that federal contractors need better incentives to comply with labor laws. The research found a total of 104 federal contractors with egregious violations over the past decade, or about 0.4 percent of 24,000 federal contractors nationwide.
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