Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the announcement of President Obama’s intention to sign an executive order requiring prospective federal contractors to disclose labor law violations and giving agencies more guidance on how to consider labor violations when awarding federal contracts:
“This executive order is a victory for American workers. By requiring federal contractors to comply with antidiscrimination laws, the Obama administration is ensuring that taxpayers aren’t supporting companies that discriminate, steal wages, or fail to protect the health and safety of their employees.
The government should not reward lawbreakers with taxpayer-funded contracts. Yet each year, the government contracts with companies that routinely violate workplace health and safety protections, engage in race and sex discrimination, and illegally withhold employees’ wages. By cracking down on federal contractors who break the law, the president will help ensure that all hardworking Americans get the fair pay and safe workplaces they deserve.
The executive order will also limit the use of mandatory arbitration agreements. Forced arbitration makes the dozens of antidiscrimination laws meaningless because they are unenforceable in court, allowing employers the freedom to circumvent civil rights laws intended to protect people from employment discrimination on the basis of age, sex, religion, race, and disability.
We applaud President Obama for issuing this executive order. Because of it, millions of hardworking Americans will be treated with greater dignity and respect in their workplaces.”
Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.