MCAA met for the second time with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Labor Department officials on August 11 to explain why regulations implementing Executive Order 13706 should include a collective bargaining exemption for direct federal construction project employers whose workers are covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
MCAA Board member Gary Grandchamp of Kirlin Mid-Atlantic LLC, Chip Mitchell, General Counsel and Secretary of The Kirlin Group, and John McNerney of MCAA staff presented MCAA’s previous comments and statements from the initial meeting with OMB on February 11.
They reiterated that the rationale for EO13706—that employers providing paid sick/family leave perform better on federal contracts because they will be able to compete with other employers that provide paid time off for competent workers—does not apply to the construction workforce of signatory employers.
MCAA explained that paid sick/family leave is very uncommon in construction CBA’s where a pay premium is included for that type of leave. MCAA’s position also lays out the imperative of tight prime contractor and subcontractor project performance and schedule sequencing requirements, which will be impaired significantly by adding incentives for construction project personnel to take paid time off, disrupting crew mixes and productivity and significantly impairing overall project performance.
MCAA also explained:
- the potential for conflicts with the direct dealing proscriptions of the National Labor Relations Act for union-represented employees in the bargaining unit who accrue federal project sick/family leave credits, and those that do not;
- the failure of the proposed regulations to adopt the Davis Bacon site of work rules for federal contractor fabrication shops;
- the potential for double payment of paid leave on layoff and reinstatement to employment within a year; and
- several other flaws.
MCAA’s position is that federal construction contract performance should be addressed in better procurement and contract administration practices, not by meddling in private sector employment administration and CBA negotiations with a highly derivative and speculative rationale to supposedly address contract performance requirements.
The final regulations will be published by September 30. A lawsuit is expected challenging whether the procurement rationale is merely a pretext for an employment/workplace policy initiative that is more properly addressed by legislation rather than regulations.