It’s been a very busy year thus far for federal contractors. The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) has been moving in and out of the national spotlight for months as President Obama has redirected his focus on further socioeconomic development within the resurgent industry. But, it’s come at a cost. With Congress stuck in gridlock Mr. Obama has decided to rely on executive orders (that invoke the grayer regions of presidential power) rather than wait for the legislature.
Such action has reignited debate between the right and the left and resulted in most members of the media focusing on whether or not this use of power is justifiable instead of considering how it will affect federal contractors. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the four executive actions Mr. Obama has passed this year, what they are and how they could affect you.
(1) Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors
Executive Order 13658 was signed by the President on February 12th, 2014. It raised the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 per hour. That’s great news for your employees, and it’s hard not to be happy for them, but it also means that you will have to allocate more of your budget towards those hourly wages instead of hiring more workers or investing that money elsewhere. You will not have to worry about the minimum wage increase until January 1, 2016 but it is worth monitoring for now.
(2) Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information
Executive Order 13665 protects the employees of federal contractors from discrimination and retaliation when and if they discuss compensation or compensation related issues. What does that mean? It means that your employees are allowed to talk to your other employees about said compensation in order to identify any unfair disparities in pay. Regulations for the executive order are expected to arrive by August 6th and should be implemented by September 15th of this year.
(3) Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government (& Equal Employment Opportunity/LGBT Discrimination)
Executive Order 13672, Executive Order 11246 and Executive Order 11478 all work hand in hand so we’ll be discussing them as a group rather than individually. You’ve probably seen news analysts talking about the implications of Obama’s order to ban anti-LGBT bias in the federal workplace. It’s been quite the lightning rod for debate between liberals and conservatives. Regardless of politics, these policies further protect employees from discrimination from employers based on their skin color, sexual orientation, sexual identity or national origin. Discrimination should not be a problem in 2014 (nearly 50 years since the Civil Rights Movement) and if any such discrimination does still exist we hope it disappears swiftly. The executive order is effective immediately.
Whether or not Mr. Obama’s actions are justified we cannot say. But, we can say that these executive orders will affect your business in some way. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-649-9094. We look forward to hearing from you!