Interim FAR Rule Prohibits Contractors From Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information

October 3, 2016

WHAT: The FAR Council issued an interim rule amending FAR 52.222-26, Equal Opportunity, in order to implement Executive Order (EO) 13665, “Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information,” and a Department of Labor final rule on the same. The interim FAR rule adds to the equal opportunity clause by prohibiting contractors from discharging, or in any manner discriminating against, an employee or applicant for employment because that individual inquired about, discussed, or disclosed his or her compensation or the compensation of another employee or applicant.

WHEN: The interim rule went into effect September 30, 2016 and applies to solicitations and contracts issued on or after September 30, 2016. Comments on the interim rule are due November 29, 2016.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR INDUSTRY: Government contractors are already familiar with FAR 52.222-26’s prohibition of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify or national origin. Now, this interim rule adds a new form of discrimination—one that contractors may not typically consider—which contractors must identify and prohibit. Contractors should ensure their internal anti-discrimination policies are in compliance with the new rule, as it is in effect for all newly issued solicitations and contracts. Additionally, contracting officers are expected to consider modifications to existing contracts to implement this rule.

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