Compliance in Education: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces
Compliance is a hot topic to most, if not all, higher ed institutions. Whether the discussion is centered around presenting new hires with the appropriate forms, like Section 503 or VEVRAA, complying with the latest Executive Orders for minimum wage, LGBT or Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, or ensuring that all Form I-9s are complete and accurate, the issue of compliance and federal audits is always in the mix. Why is compliance so important? The answer lies in the fact that most institutions receive federal grants, and noncompliance could jeopardize those dollars. These grants can total millions of dollars for a single institution, and come from federal agencies like:
- Department of Defense
- Department of Health & Human Services
- Justice Department
On July 31, President Obama issued Executive Order 13673, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces. This Executive Order pertains to federal contractors who must disclose any labor law violations they or their subcontractors have had within the previous three years in order to be considered for new federal contracts valued at more than $500,000. Can an institution afford not to be compliant?
What are the repercussions of violating this Executive Order? While today it is not known, we do know that this process should have the effect of making debarment from the federal contractive process a very real possibility for repeat offenders. All contractors should be vigilant with their compliance efforts, and continue to constantly hone their processes and controls.