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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mandatory Arbitration Prohibited for Department of Defense Contractors


Alabama@ Work
By Tommy Eden, Attorney

On June 29 the Department of Defense issued a final rule restricting DOD contractors' use of mandatory arbitration for claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other claims related to sexual assault or harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, and negligent hiring, supervision, or retention. DOD contracted employers receiving contracts of more than $1 million funded by the fiscal year 2011 DOD appropriations measure, are prohibited from entering into or enforcing agreements requiring employees or independent contractors to resolve the specified types of claims through arbitration. See Section 8012 of the “DOD and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011.”

Common Sense Counsel: with great opportunity to contract with the federal government, also come great obligations. A Governmental contractor must maintain an approved written affirmative action plan, post appropriate notices on bulletin boards, training its supervisory workforce, self monitor its own compliance, establish goals and other related program requirements. Fair warning: this agency aggressively audits and investigates. Dealing with the government is clearly not a do-it-yourself program.

Tommy Eden is a Lee County native, an attorney with the local office of Capell & Howard, PC and a member of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and serves on the Board of Directors for the East Alabama SHRM Chapter. He can be contacted at tme@chlaw.com or 334-501-1540