Executive Orders on Contractors Can Protect Library Workers

On the Government Info Pro

Thanks to Kathy Kelly, MSLS, C.A. for this guest post on the Government Info Pro: Executive Orders on Contractors Can Protect Library Workers.

Here’s an excerpt:

Library professionals familiar with the challenges faced by federal libraries know that due to budget constraints some of these libraries are partially or fully contracted out to professional services firms. While some library contractors may believe that “contractors have no rights” (due to at-will employment provisions they are required to sign with their firms upon hire), they definitely retain numerous employment-related rights under various federal laws (such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Civil Rights Act, the Service Contract Act, etc.), as well as under state laws such as those dealing with timely access to health insurance COBRAs. Contractors are also gaining additional protections thanks to recent Presidential Executive Orders. A distinction which labor law attorneys often make about at-will employment issues is that while at-will employees may be able to be fired for ‘no cause’, they may not be fired for an illegal cause.

Executive Order on Displacement of Qualified Workers on Service Contracts


Executive Order 13495, signed by President Obama on January 30, 2009, addresses the carry-over of service workers from one federal service contract to another. While it allows exemptions from placement for certain categories of workers such as managers or poor performers, it protects retention of employees, by allowing employees from the predecessor contract a right of first refusal of employment when the successor company assumes the federal service contract. An interesting information access and distribution factor is that it also mandates that the departing contract company provide a list of contractors who worked during the final month of the contract, with their original dates of hire, to the agency contracting officer, who must then pass it on to the successor firm and to any contract employees who request a copy of the list.


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