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August 18, 2009

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes Rule Requiring Federal Contractors and Sub-Contractors to Notify Employees of their Rights under the National Labor Relations Act

On August 3, 2009, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) proposed a rule (“the Proposed Rule”) requiring certain federal contractors and sub-contractors to notify employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). The Rule was issued to implement Executive Order 13496 (“the Order”), which was signed by President Obama on January 30, 2009. The Order requires all government departments and agencies to include within their government contracts specific provisions requiring that contractors and subcontractors post notices informing their employees of their rights as employees under the NLRA. The Order expressly excepts contracts involving purchases below the simplified acquisition threshold, currently $100,000, from the notice requirements.

The Proposed Rule sets out the content, form and size of the required notice and also includes provisions regarding sanctions that may be imposed if the contractor fails to comply with its obligations under the Order. The DOL proposes that the notice contain a portion of the text of the NLRA and a list of NLRA rights, derived from National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) or court decisions. The notice must be posted at the place of operation where employees are likely to see it. If the Proposed Rule is finalized, the required notice will be available at Sanctions for violations may include the cancelation of the relevant contract or debarment from future government work.

If you should have any questions regarding the Proposed Rule, please contact us.