Executive Order 13496 was signed by President Obama on January 30, 2009. One of its key components is a requirement for federal contractors to agree to post notices informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Covered employers must also agree to insert provisions in their subcontracts that require their subcontractors to post the employee notice as well. The employee notice and the contract provisions can be found at 29 C.F.R. Part 471 Appendix A.
The regulations that implement E.O. 13496 became effective on June 21, 2010. Once the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council issues a corresponding rule, the clauses requiring the notice will begin to be inserted in covered federal contracts. Contracts below the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $100,000) and subcontracts below $10,000 are exempt from the regulations.
The notice informs employees about their rights under the NLRA to form, join and assist a union, and to bargain collectively with their employer. It also provides examples of unlawful employer and union conduct that interferes with those rights and indicates how employees can contact the National Labor Relations Board, the Federal agency that enforces those rights, with questions or to file complaints. Employers that fail to comply with these regulations may be subject to sanctions, including suspension or cancellation of the contract.
An email from OFCCP instructs:
Contractors and subcontractors must post the employee notice conspicuously in and around their plants and offices so that it is prominent and readily seen by employees who are covered by the NLRA and who engage in contract-related activity. In particular, contractors and subcontractors must post the notice where other notices to employees about their jobs are posted. Contractors and subcontractors who post notices to employees electronically must also post the required notice electronically, which requires posting a link to the Department of Labor’s website containing the employee notice where they customarily place other electronic notices to employees about their jobs. Where a significant portion of contractor’s workforce is not proficient in English, contractors and subcontractors must provide the employee notice in languages spoken by employees, and the Department will provide translations of the employee notice that can be used to comply with the physical and electronic posting requirements.