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Richard Arnholt advises companies, large and small, on the complex rules and regulations applicable to grants and contracts from federal and state governmental entities. In an era of increased budgetary pressures for contractors, Richard focuses his practice on providing practical business and legal guidance to help clients efficiently navigate the minefield of government procurement and grant regulations.

I recently outlined the implications of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) new “enhanced debriefing rule” for government contractors that is intended to provide information and details about award decisions. However, as I explain in the article, “While this increased transparency was intended to discourage bid protests by sharing more information about award decisions, and some

We are looking forward to presenting a training webinar titled, “Nuts and Bolts of Teaming Agreements” for the Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Center (Maryland PTAC). In this one-hour webinar, you will get answers to questions such as:

  • Joint venture or subcontract?
  • Mentor/protégé?
  • Will my company still be eligible for a set aside if I team?

Over the past year, the Biden administration has issued a number of labor and employment executive orders applicable to government contractors. Some of those requirements are updates to Obama-era executive orders, while others are new. Together, these obligations, which include an almost 50% increase to the applicable minimum wage, can have a significant impact on contractors.

For any government contractors that have questions about these labor and employment changes, we hope you can join us for an overview of these recent developments.

Continue Reading [WEBINAR] What Was Old is New Again – Government Contractor Labor & Employment Updates

On February 4, President Biden signed the Executive Order on Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects, which mandates, with limited exceptions, that contractors and subcontractors working on federal construction projects valued at $35 million or more agree that for that project, the companies will “become a party to a project labor agreement [PLA] with one or more appropriate labor organizations.”  A prior EO issued by President Obama, which the recent EO drew liberally from, encouraged the use of labor agreements on large construction projects, but we are not aware of any prior EO mandating their use.

Continue Reading Union Labor or Bust! Project Labor Agreements Now Required for Large Federal Construction Projects

Last week, the District Court for the Eastern District of California denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment of a False Claims Act (FCA) count against Aerojet Rocketdyne (Aerojet) for allegedly fraudulently inducing the government to enter into federal contracts when the company knew it was not compliant with cybersecurity requirements.

The order contains important lessons for government contractors in the emerging area of FCA liability based on noncompliance with cybersecurity obligations. While the litigation is ongoing and may ultimately be resolved in Aerojet’s favor, the order demonstrates the growing importance of cybersecurity compliance.

Continue Reading Government Contractors Face False Claims Act Liability for Cybersecurity Non-Compliance

After we published our article last week about the status of the four federal vaccine mandates, we learned that a seventh district court had enjoined the federal contractor COVID-19 vaccine mandate, continuing a remarkable string of losses for the Department of Justice (DOJ) in their attempts to defend President Biden’s Executive Order (EO) 14042. While the District Court for the District of Arizona has not yet finalized all of the details of its injunction that only applies in Arizona (the parties will be briefing that issue over the next week), this is yet another indication that the contractor mandate is unlikely ever to be fully implemented in its current form.

On September 14, the state of Arizona, along with several other entities and individuals, filed suit challenging both the contractor vaccine mandate and the federal employee vaccine mandate ordered in EO 14043. The Order issued on January 27 held the challenge to the federal employee mandate was not yet ripe, but it enjoined the contractor mandate.

As an initial matter, the court agreed with DOJ that the plaintiff challenging the employee mandate did not have standing because he had a medical exemption request pending and was, therefore, not required to be vaccinated or subject to discipline at that time and may never be if the request is granted. Because his alleged injury – have the vaccine or be terminated – may never occur, any opinion issued in response to his claim would be “merely advisory,” and therefore, his claim was unripe. The court similarly held that Arizona did not have standing to challenge the employee mandate because its employees were not subject to it, and the mandate did not infringe on Arizona’s sovereignty.

Continue Reading DOJ’s Run of Bad Luck Continues – A Seventh District Court Enjoins the Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate

I am looking forward to participating in the Labor & Employment panel as part of the Pub K Annual Review 2022. I will be presenting with Nichole Atallah (PilieroMazza PLLC), Howard Wolf-Rodda (Abrahams Wolf-Rodda) and Michael Schrier (Husch Blackwell). Our panel will take place on Monday, January 24, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. EST and highlights

As the legal battles over the Biden administrations vaccine mandate for federal contractors continue, I authored an article for Law360 published on December 22, 2021 discussing significant rulings limiting the mandate’s enforcement in matters brought by multiple states.

After the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky ruled on November 30 to prohibit enforcement of the mandate against contractors and subcontractors in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia issued an injunction on December 7 prohibiting such enforcement nationwide. On December 16, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana issued a third injunction prohibiting enforcement of the mandate, which was limited to the plaintiff states.

In addition to detailing the arguments and legal considerations weighed by the court in each case, I offered insight on what contractors can do now as additional cases are heard around the country, particularly as related matters head for January 7 oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court (announced shortly after Law360 published my article).

Continue Reading Injunctions May Only Pause the Government Contractor Vaccine Mandate