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Should federal contractors have to disclose safety violations when bidding for jobs?

Congress doesn't think so. What are the implications for workers?

Monday night, Congress voted along party lines to eliminate the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule, a federal rule created by the Obama administration. The regulation on the chopping block limits companies with recent safety violations to bid for federal contracts unless they agree to remedies. It was designed to protect workers from labor law violations by the contractors that employ them.

However, the regulation's big-business opponents and their lobbyists have argued that it kills jobs. Read on to learn more about the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule and how its elimination could affect federal workers across the country.

Is this rule necessary?

Approximately 1 in 5 Americans works for a company that holds federal contracts, so regulations affecting these companies have widespread effects. Why might it be important for federal contractors to be held accountable for violations?

  • According to an article in the Washington Post, 66 percent of the country's largest contractors have violated federal wage and hour laws in the past.
  • In addition, more than a third of OSHA's largest penalties for workplace safety violations have been levied against these companies.

According to opponents of the rule, holding contractors accountable for these violations discourages them from competing for federal contracts and thereby reduces jobs. They seem to believe workers' lives and livelihoods are an acceptable price to pay for fewer regulations.

We believe that workers are the backbone of our nation, and that every employee is entitled to a safe workplace and a fair wage. In a time when workers can't count on the federal government to protect their interests, it is critical that you seek knowledgeable legal help if you are hurt or cheated on the job.

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