Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order Revoked

ADP Research Institute®

Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order Revoked

On March 27, 2017, President Donald Trump officially completed the revocation of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (EO). This order had been referred to as the “blacklisting” Executive Order, because it would have required government contractors to report on violations of certain federal employment laws when bidding on most government contracts worth $500,000 or more before they could be awarded any such contracts.


The concept behind the measure was to ensure that government contracts were awarded only to businesses that had a demonstrated record of compliance with 14 federal workplace fairness and safety laws, including the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and others. The Executive Order (EO) also would have prohibited covered federal contractors from requiring covered employees to agree to mandatory arbitration of Title VII discrimination claims, as well as tort claims related to sexual assault or harassment. Additionally, the EO would have created “paycheck transparency” rules, which would have required covered government contractors to include certain information on covered employees’ wage statements. The final rule implementing these provisions was discussed in the previous Eye on Washington, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Final Rule Released.

Impact to Employers

The EO was set to begin to be phased in beginning on October 25, 2016. However, a group of trade associations had sued to block enforcement of the EO, arguing that it should be enjoined for various reasons, including on the grounds that the EO exceeded the authority of the President and the Department of Labor (DOL), and that adherence to the EO would have resulted in First Amendment violations. As part of that litigation, a Texas federal judge issued a preliminary injunction right before the EO was scheduled to take effect, blocking the implementation of most of the measure. The paycheck transparency portion of the EO, however, was not subject to the injunction.

On March 6, 2017, Congress passed H.J.Res.37, which, pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, invalidated the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces EO. President Trump signed the legislation on March 27, 2017 finalizing the revocation of the EO. Accordingly, federal contractors are no longer required to comply with any of its provisions, including the paycheck fairness portion, which had taken effect on January 1, 2017. Regulations overturned pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, and any “substantially similar” regulations, cannot be reinstated by the Executive Branch absent Congressional approval.

ADP Compliance Resources

ADP maintains a staff of dedicated professionals who carefully monitor federal and state legislative and regulatory measures affecting employment-related human resource, payroll, tax and benefits administration, and help ensure that ADP systems are updated as relevant laws evolve. For the latest on how federal and state tax law changes may impact your business, visit the ADP Eye on Washington Web page located at www.adp.com/regulatorynews.

ADP is committed to assisting businesses with increased compliance requirements resulting from rapidly evolving legislation. Our goal is to help minimize your administrative burden across the entire spectrum of employment-related payroll, tax, HR and benefits, so that you can focus on running your business. This information is provided as a courtesy to assist in your understanding of the impact of certain regulatory requirements and should not be construed as tax or legal advice. Such information is by nature subject to revision and may not be the most current information available. ADP encourages readers to consult with appropriate legal and/or tax advisors. Please be advised that calls to and from ADP may be monitored or recorded.

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Updated on March 30, 2017

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