February 25, 2016--The Obama Administration published a proposed rule implementing Executive Order 13706, Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors. The proposed rule, which the Department of Labor estimates would increase benefits for 828,000 federal contractor employees, would require federal contractors to provide employees with up to seven days of paid sick leave annually and impose significant new administrative requirements on contractors, which are likely to be addressed in contractor and industry comments submitted over the next 30 days prior to the publication of the final rule.
September 11, 2015. In a recent Memorandum and related speech, the Department of Justice announced a major new initiative designed to target and pursue “accountability from the individuals” who “perpetrate corporate wrongdoing.” Media reports describe this action as the first major policy announcement by the new Attorney General, Loretta Lynch. This DOJ memorandum click here sets forth six specific guiding principles for federal prosecutors. Among the principles is a DOJ prohibition “absent extraordinary circumstances” against releasing “culpable individuals” from civil or criminal liability when resolving or settling a civil matter (such as a False Claims Act matter) with a corporation and urges prosecutors to “consistently focus on individuals as well as the company.”
November 13, 2014. President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum click here authorizing the U.S. Agency for International Development pursuant to Public Law 85-804 to indemnify contractors performing Ebola-response contracts in Africa "with respect to claims, losses, or damage arising out of or resulting from exposure, in the course of performance of the contracts, to Ebola." This Presidential action is the latest example of how contractors should request contract-based indemnification (via FAR Clause 52.250-1) from any U.S. Government Agency for activities that pose unusually hazardous risk including Ebola-related risks.
July 31, 2014. President Obama signed an Executive Order click here that requires contractors to report labor law violations and requires contractors to agree that certain claims would not be arbitrated without the voluntary post-dispute consent of employees or independent contractors. Employers seeking federal contracts will be required to report certain labor law violations, including "arbitral awards" or "administrative merits determinations," that occurred within the prior three years when bidding on contracts. These reports will be used by Contracting Officers to determine if an offeror is "responsible" and thus eligible to receive an award. The new Executive Order will be implemented through amendments to the FAR. Employers will have an opportunity to submit public comments to the proposed FAR rule.