19 January 2017

Two Minute Legal Update – 2017: What’s New for Federal Contractors?

Welcome as we kick off the Two Minute Update – 2017.  Although a Trump administration likely means big changes ahead, including the possible roll back of some Obama era Executive Orders, several requirements went into effect at the start of this calendar year.

Fair Pay Transparency

The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order and its regulations (the “Blacklisting Rule”) was partially blocked by a federal court in October, but the paycheck transparency part was not. Federal contractors who enter into contracts or subcontracts valued at half a million dollars or more after January 1 must provide employees who perform services under the contract with “wage statements” containing at least the following:

  • Total hours worked in the pay period;
  • Total overtime;
  • Rate of pay for hours worked;
  • Gross pay for the pay period;
  • An list of deductions from gross pay;
  • Exempt overtime status.

Notice to Independent Contractors

A lesser known aspect of the Blacklisting rule not impacted by the injunction is that federal contractors must provide their independent contractors with a written notice identifying their independent status.

Paid Sick Leave

Also effective on January 1 is the requirement that certain federal contractors provide paid sick leave to covered employees.  Remember, the sick pay rule only covers federal contractors with certain types of contracts entered into after January 1.  Covered contractors are required to provide paid sick leave at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked for employees who work in connection with a covered contract, up to a “bank” of 56 hours per year.  Covered contractors must allow employees to carry over at least 56 hours of accrued, unused sick leave into the following year.  There is a lot of fine print with this executive order, so review our earlier Two Minute Update for details about this one.

With the inauguration rapidly approaching, stay tuned for additional changes that may radically impact Executive Orders and federal contractor obligations.