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Manufacturers file lawsuit to rein-in OFCCP overreach

In a press release, the National Association of Manufacturers (12/18) said NAM and the Virginia Manufacturers Association have filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia to stop the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs from compelling speech and violating the First Amendment as a result of its “posting requirement” rule. VMA President and CEO Brett Vassey said:

“Protecting Virginia’s ‘right to work’ status is integral to the mission of the VMA and the success of Virginia’s manufacturers and contractors, and the OFCCP rule tips that delicate balance.” Vassey also said, “We’re proud to join with the NAM to take our case to the courts where we expect another ruling in favor of the First Amendment.”

The AP (12/19) reports NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly said, “The courts have already ruled that these posters amount to compelled speech and extend beyond the intent of the National Labor Relations Act.” Kelly also said, “Federal contractors deserve the same protection from this aggressive overreach.”

Legal Newsline (12/19, Karmasek) reports NAM and VMA wrote, “The imposition of such a notice requirement constitutes a massive and unprecedented expansion of the agencies’ jurisdiction.” They also wrote, “The rule adversely affects thousands of federal contractors and subcontractors by forcing them to promote unionization of their workforces upon pain of being debarred from federal contracts.”

The Business Journals (12/19, Hoover) reports NAM contends OFCCP’s “mission is to enforce anti-discrimination laws among government contractors, and union status is not a protected class under these laws.” Joe Trauger, NAM’s Vice President of Human Resources Policy said OFCCP “is going beyond their charge to promote an agenda.”

The Wall Street Journal (12/18, Trottman) “Washington Wire” blog reported Trauger said on a conference call, “By compelling speech, the federal government is creating friction where none exists.” Trauger also said, “The government should not violate someone’s rights in order to make someone else aware of theirs.”

The Hill (12/18) “Regwatch” blog reported NAM said that manufacturers that do not display posters could lose their federal contracts or not be allowed to do business with the federal government.

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