If your boss steals your wages or risks your health and safety, don’t count on him being hauled into court or even facing fines. Instead, the company just might get a fat federal contract.
That’s because, President Trump’s and the Republican-controlled House and Senate have struck down President Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order, which required federal contractors to disclose and correct wage theft, safety violations and other lawbreaking.
Even if you don’t work on a federal project, contractors’ conduct matters to you – “yugely.” Year after year, the federal government spends about $500 billion of your tax money on contracts for private companies that employ almost one fifth of all American workers.
By winking at lawbreaking, the Trump Administration is threatening workers’ lives and livelihoods. Since 2015, more than a third of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s 100 largest penalties have been slapped on companies with federal contracts. In fact, companies with records of wage theft or health and safety violations pocketed about forty cents on the dollar for federal contracting from 1999 through 2013.
Until President Trump and Congressional Republicans crack down on contractors’ criminality, their calls for “restoring law and order” won’t pass the laugh test.