Senate Committee Revives Blacklisting for OSHA Violations

July 14, 2017

This week, the Senate and House Armed Services Committee passed the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including a requirement that Defense Department contracting officers consider any workplace safety or health violation when awarding contracts.  The provision, sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), would apply only to DOD contracts greater than $1 million and would also apply to all subcontractors listed in the contract bid.  Although there is no explicit reporting requirement for federal contractors in the bill, DOD would likely have to create one in order to make its responsibility determinations when awarding contracts.  The provision is identical to S. 1440, which Sen. Warren introduced on June 26, 2017.  Surprisingly, the NDAA blacklisting provision was included after Congress struck down the Obama-era blacklisting Executive Order this past spring, which included similar requirements.  Notably, the House version of the 2017 NDAA does not include blacklisting language.  HR Policy, along with others in the business community, will seek to exclude the provision from the NDAA as the legislation works its way through Congress.