Blumenthal protects Executive Order on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces in Defense Bill

[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today announced that he successfully stripped the final text of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of harmful provisions that would have limited the scope of President Obama’s Executive Order on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces as it applies to the Department of Defense. The Executive Order, which protects hardworking Americans by preventing waste, fraud, and abuse in federal contracting, was placed in jeopardy when restrictions on its implementation were passed as part of the Senate and House versions of the NDAA. As a member of the NDAA Conference Committee, Blumenthal succeeded in having these detrimental provisions removed from the final bill in order to uphold the Executive Order.

“Upholding President Obama’s Fair Pay Executive Order means protecting the rights of millions of hardworking Americans,” Blumenthal said. “Federal government contracts should represent the gold standard in the American workplace, and ensuring the executive order continues to apply to all defense contractors will help guarantee companies entrusted with billions of taxpayers’ dollars provide fair, safe, and equitable workplaces. In the wake of this presidential election, we must remain vigilant in our effort to continue fighting to protect workers’ rights.”

President Obama signed the Executive Order on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces in 2014 to ensure that federal contractors disclose their compliance record with labor laws designed to promote safe, healthy, fair, and effective workplaces. The harmful provisions included in the Senate and House versions of the NDAA would have limited the Executive Order to defense contractors who have been debarred or suspended as a result of previous violations of labor laws, failing to apply to defense contractors who do billions of dollars’ worth of business with the Department of Defense each year.

Blumenthal previously fought to rid the NDAA of this provision during Senate Armed Services Committee markup of the NDAA, as well as introduced a  floor amendment to the NDAA to ensure that the Executive Order on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces continues to apply to all defense contractors, continuing an effort he led during the Armed Services Committee markup of the NDAA. Blumenthal and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) also led a group of  34 Senators in sending a letter urging the House and Senate Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Armed Services Committees to ensure that the final language of the conferenced defense bill protects the executive order.

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