The three federal agencies composing the FAR Council, the entity that administers the federal government’s procurement requirements, have issued a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to remove the last vestiges of the controversial Obama-era “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order (E.O.) 13673, often referred to as the “blacklisting rule.” In a related action, the Department of Labor (DOL) has also now formally rescinded its implementation guidance on the blacklisting rule.
The blacklisting rule was officially revoked in March when President Trump signed into law a “joint resolution of disapproval” that had been passed by Congress. The FAR still needed to be amended, however, to remove instructions to federal procurement agencies that required the inclusion of the blacklisting obligations in covered federal contracts. The rule published by the FAR Council last week deleting references to the blacklisting rule from the FAR closes that loop.
As a reminder, the repeal of the blacklisting rule, including its so-called paycheck transparency provision that would have required a covered contractor to provide employees with detailed information about their pay, should not be confused with the similar-sounding pay transparency or pay secrecy rule implementing another Obama Executive Order (13665) that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against employees and/or applicants who inquire about or disclose their pay or the pay of others. The pay secrecy rule remains very much in effect.
Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.