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Government Contracts Increasingly Further Labor-Policy Goals

This past year, the federal government implemented a variety of rules requiring that its contractors meet certain fair-labor requirements.  For example, a federal rule finalized in September requires federal contractors to provide their employees with up to 56 hours of paid sick leave, and another new rule, the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule, permits the government to withhold contracts from firms that have violated labor laws.

Similarly, at the local level, new regulations impose greater labor obligations on government contractors than ever before.  For example, in June of this past year, Miami-Dade County adopted the “Employ Miami-Dade Program,” which requires that County construction contractors provide construction-labor employment and training opportunities to Miami-Dade residents.  This new program supplements several existing County fair-labor programs, including those that require its contractors to pay their workers a living wage and provide opportunities to local small businesses.

The trend of requiring government contractors to meet more stringent fair-labor standards coincides with a marked increase in the use of public-private partnerships (P3s), which results in greater private-sector involvement in the provisions of public facilities and services.  Although the benefits of P3s are often framed in terms of reduced costs, shorter time frames, and improved quality, these new regulations highlight that P3s can also be used to further social-policy goals.  The fair-labor requirements that a government contractor must meet, for example, far exceed those ordinarily applicable to the private sector.  Of course, the benefits to the public of these heightened requirements may, in certain situations, be offset by increased costs.  But this tradeoff highlights the flexibility of P3s and their ability to address and balance many different types of public-policy goals.

Hard Hat

 

© 2020 Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLPNational Law Review, Volume VII, Number 11

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About this Author

Albert Dotson, Bilzin Sumberg Law Firm, Real Estate and Land Development Attorney
Partner

Nationally recognized for his work on public-private partnerships (P3), Al's experience includes rail and transit facilities, airports, marinas, sports stadiums, convention centers, healthcare/life sciences facilities, educational institutions, water and sewer facilities, and parking structures.

Al is recognized throughout Florida for his work representing local, national, and international clients in responding to government contract solicitations and defending against, or prosecuting quasi-judicial and judicial bid protests.

305-350-2411
Associate

Eric Singer is an Associate in the Government Relations & Land Development Group. His practice focuses on government procurement contracts and the development approval process, including planning and zoning applications, government approvals and permits. Eric also represents clients in quasi-judicial matters and has handled land use cases in state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels.

305-350-2354