Labor complaints to be reported to federal database of "bad" employers

To assist federal contractors in their compliance with the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order – which to date still has no final implementing regulations – the National Labor Relations Board has graciously offered to ensure that all unfair labor practice complaints involving federal contractors will be added to a federal database of "problem" employers.

Canary Statue.flickrCC.MichaelSonnabend
"Don't make me sing, baby!"

As I've previously reported, the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces EO mandates that all federal agencies assess the labor law violations of companies bidding on government contracts to determine whether they are a “responsible source that has a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics.” Administrative complaints filed by the NLRB are one type of labor law violation that must be reported.

Beginning with complaints filed by Regional Offices of the NLRB on or after July 1 (last Friday), the NLRB will ask employers to provide information that will let the Board determine whether the company is a federal contractor. If so, then the NLRB will report that information to a federal database, which will then be used by the federal agencies’ Labor Compliance Advisors to determine whether the company has serious, repeated, willful, or pervasive labor law violations and should be disqualified from doing business with the federal government.

It is important to note that an unfair labor practice complaint is issued by an NLRB Regional Office after an investigation but before there has been a determination by an administrative law judge that the employer actually committed a ULP.

But don’t be alarmed! The NLRB will be “reassuring” employers before the complaint is filed that, “if you reach a resolution of this matter before the Region issues a complaint, such as by entering a pre-complaint informal settlement agreement with the Regional Director, no information on this case will be forwarded to this database.”

Incentive or coercion?  You decide.

Image Credit: Canary statue by Michael Sonnabend (flickr, Creative Commons license).

Robin Shea has 30 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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