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The Senate Is Voting on Monday to Destroy Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplace Rules

Women's March DC
Women's March DC
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March 3, 2017

The U.S. Senate is going to vote on Monday to undo the regulations that implement President Obama’s 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order. All they need is 51 votes. We have to stop this.

It’s mind-boggling that we’re even having this fight.

President Obama signed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order in order to promote safe, healthy, fair, and effective workplaces and to build on existing laws that require federal agencies to contract only with “responsible sources.” We know the executive order was necessary because, according to a 2013 U.S. Senate report, federal contractors employ about 22 percent of the American workforce (approximately 26 million workers) and, shockingly, 30 percent of the worst violators of workplace safety and wage laws continued to receive federal contracts.

The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rules are meant to ensure that companies who want to do business with the federal government are complying with our workplace safety laws, sexual harassment laws, anti-discrimination laws, and minimum wage and overtime laws. They achieve these goals by requiring federal contractors who bid on federal contracts over $500,000 to disclose any violations of worker protection laws before they can receive a contract award. If a company isn’t in compliance, the federal agencies will educate them about their responsibilities and work with them to remedy the problems and bring them into compliance.

It’s mind-boggling that we’re even having this fight.

But businesses, and the organizations that represent them, have made such a ruckus that Congress is now willing to undo these important rules. The House of Representatives voted in February to eliminate the rule by a vote of 236-187 and the Senate vote is happening Monday, March 6. We need your help right away.

Call and email your senators TODAY, over the weekend, and Monday and ask them to vote NO, NO, NO on H. J. Resolution 37, which would eliminate the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rules.

This is a no-brainer. As the Department of Labor once said, “The federal government should be doing business only with companies that comply with laws that protect workers’ safety, wages, and civil rights.” That should be the bare minimum that our government asks of business interests that are paid billions of taxpayer dollars. In fact, 134 organizations signed a coalition letter in support of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rules and asked senators not to repeal them.

And yet here we are.

But it’s not too late. There’s still time to fight back and to stop this. The Senate vote is on Monday. Call and keep calling. We can do this.