Just snatch a new federal services contract away from a competitor? A new Department of Labor rule says you will have to offer your competitor’s employees a job prior to hiring workers elsewhere. According to an article in Washington Technology, Labor Department officials have released a new policy mandating that federal service contracts require winning contractors to offer positions to the previous contractor’s employees (whose jobs would end as a result of the new award). Essentially, incumbent employees will have a right of first refusal for employment.
The thought behind the rule is such a policy would make the transition between contract awards smoother for the government. However, comments to the ruling offer troubling questions such as:
- What if the previous contractor lost because of poor performance in general?
- What if the employee is not up to standard? Does sufficient documentation exist to determine poor individual employee performance?
- If I’m a losing contractor, do I really want my employees easily whisked away (taking my company secrets)?
- How do winning contractors fulfill the cost and quality obligations?
The official date of when the rule will take effect has not been released, but will be published in a subsequent notice once the starting date has been decided.