The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued proposed guidance to assist contracting agencies and the contracting community in applying the requirements of President Obama’s July 31, 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, including evaluating the severity of labor violations.

The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council) is also issuing proposed regulations integrating the order’s requirements, and the provisions of the Labor Department’s guidance into the existing procurement rules.

Both the FAR Council’s proposed regulations and the Labor Department’s proposed guidance will be published in the Federal Register, followed by a 60-day public comment period.

The proposed guidance and regulations build on the existing procurement system, and most federal contractors will only have to attest that they comply with laws providing basic workplace protections; for those contractors that report violations, designated Labor Compliance Advisors will coordinate with the relevant enforcement agency experts to help them come into compliance.

In addition to setting up a process to effectively consider labor law violations, the executive order ensures that contractors’ employees are given the necessary information each pay period to verify the accuracy of their paycheck. It also ensures that workers who may have been sexually assaulted or had their civil rights violated get their day in court, putting an end to mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements covering these claims at large federal contractors.

If you own or operate a small to medium-sized business, managing all your employees plus meeting federal labor laws and regulations can be daunting, especially with new rules being issued all the time. To help you understand your rights and responsibilities in every facet of running a business, please order a copy of Personnel Concepts’ All-On-One HR Compliance Program for Small Businesses.