This month on USFCR Academy Live, we are covering the basics of understanding the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). FAR is a set of regulations issued to make a standard set of processes for government acquisitions.
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FAR 22 - Application of Labor Laws to Government Acquisitions
In this part the government defines general labor law policies and how they relate to federal acquisitions. The FAR encourages contractors to cooperate with both federal and state agencies that create labor requirements for:
- Health and sanitation
- Maximum hours and minimum wages
- Equal employment opportunity
- Child and convict labor
- Age discrimination
- Disabled and Vietnam veteran employment
- Employment for workers with disabilities
- Eligibility for employment under United States immigration laws
Any speciality labor laws such as those for federal construction alteration, or repair, including painting and decorating, of public buildings and public works are explained.
Did you know?
The government aims to be transparent with the all approved standard labor wages. The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division oversees the addition of wage standards for service employees on the wage determinations database found on beta.sam.gov.
If a contractor or subcontractor will be servicing a contract valued over $2,500 then the contract must contain a wage determination. The following factors influence the determination of wage rate:
- Ability to pay
- Demand and supply
- Prevailing market rates
- Cost of living
- Bargaining of trade unions
- Government regulations
- Cost of training
Contractors and subcontractors should be viewing these wage rates to ensure that they are factoring in a federal approved labor wage into their proposal amount. The wage determinations are organized by individual job description and location of service. there is also a federal hourly minimum wage that is established for both contractors and subcontractors at $10.10 per hour.
Executive order 11755 established convict federal labor laws. In accordance with FAR 22.201, "care must be executed to ensure to avoid either the exploitation of convict labor or any unfair competition convict labor and free labor in the production of goods and services."
The executive order also states that contractors are able to employ the following people without penalty when performing on a contract:
- Persons on parole or probation
- Persons who have been pardoned or who have served their terms
- Federal prisoners
- Non-federal prisoners authorized to work at paid employment in the community under laws of a jurisdiction listed in the executive order
Back to Basics
Subpart 22.8 of the FAR outlines the Equal Opportunity Clause, the policies and procedures related to nondiscrimination in employment by contractors and subcontractors.
The Equal Opportunity Clauses requires all agencies, contractors and subcontractors to promote "the full realization of equal employment opportunity for all persons, regardless of race, creed, religion, sew, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin," as well as to prohibit for "discharging, or in any other manner discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment because the employee or applicant inquired about, discussed, or disclosed the compensation of the employee or applicant or another employee or applicant."