Effective June 21, 2010, federal contractors and subcontractors will be required to notify employees about their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), pursuant to final regulations issued by the Office of Labor-Management Standards of the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) on May 20, 2010. Under the final regulations, federal contractors and subcontractors must post a notice in the workplace notifying employees of their rights under the NLRA, including the right to organize. Also, nonexempt federal contractors and subcontractors must include a provision in their contracts and subcontracts requiring compliance with the notification requirements.
Nature of Required Notice
Federal contractors and subcontractors must post the notice required by the new regulations in a conspicuous location or in a location where employees covered by the NLRA engage in activities relating to the performance of the contract. Contractors and subcontractors should post the required notice where other employment notices are posted for employees. In addition to physically posting the required notice, contractors and subcontractors should post the required notice electronically if the contractors or subcontractors customarily post such notices electronically. Contractors and subcontractors can post the notice electronically by providing a link to the DOL website. If a workforce is not proficient in English, contractors and subcontractors are obligated to provide the required notice in the language of the employee. The DOL will provide translations of the notice for contractors and subcontractors.
Who is Covered by the New Regulations
The new regulations apply to prime federal contracts in excess of the current simplified acquisition threshold set by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (currently, $100,000), and to subcontracts in excess of $10,000. The new regulations do not apply to contracts and subcontracts that do not meet these threshold requirements, and do not apply to public sector employees, nor to persons subject to the Railway Labor Act.
Complaints and Consequences for Failing to Comply with New Regulations
Employees of contractors and subcontractors may file complaints in writing with the DOL when a contractor or subcontractor fails to comply with the DOL notification requirements. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) may conduct independent investigations of a contractor’s or subcontractor’s compliance with the new regulations. If the OFCCP determines that a contractor or subcontractor has violated the regulations, the contractor or subcontractor may be subject to sanctions, including cancellation, termination, or suspension of an existing contract, debarment from future federal contracts and subcontracts, and placement of the contractor or subcontractor on a list of those who are ineligible for future federal contracts or subcontracts. Contractors and subcontractors will be given the opportunity of a hearing and appeal before the OFCCP imposes sanctions.
Minnesota litigation attorney attorney Bryan R. Battina is a seasoned litigator and trial attorney with extensive experience in civil litigation, particularly commercial litigation, real estate litigation, and employment law matters. Bryan may be reached at 612.455.0505 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Trepanier MacGillis Battina P.A. is a Minnesota employment law firm located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.