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Richard Arnholt

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.

On January 6, U.S. District Judge John Tuchi in the District of Arizona agreed to dismiss a lawsuit brought by five states challenging the April 2022 Executive Order (EO), increasing the minimum wage for federal contractors to $15 per hour. Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, and South Carolina argued the administration did not have the authority to stipulate an increase in the minimum wage of federal contractors under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act (FPASA). Judge Tuchi disagreed.

Continue Reading Arizona Judge Dismisses Challenge to Government Contractor Minimum Wage Executive Order

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2023 includes a short but interesting provision reminding the Department of Defense (DoD) that the unilateral insertion of a new clause in a DoD contract is a change that may entitle a contractor to compensation. Section 805 of the recently signed legislation amends 10 U.S.C. 3862, “Requests for equitable adjustment or other relief,” inserting the following provision and making conforming amendments:

(c) Treatment of Certain Clauses Implementing Executive Orders.– The unilateral insertion of a covered clause into an existing Department of Defense contract, order, or other transaction by a contracting officer shall be treated as a change directed by the contracting officer pursuant to, and subject to, the Changes clause of the underlying contract, order, or other transaction.

Continue Reading Clarification: You Can Recover for Changes Implementing Executive Orders

On December 15, the U.S. Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the Fiscal Year 2023 by an 83-11 vote. The annual legislation changes U.S. defense agencies’ policies and regulations and provides necessary guidance for how appropriations can be spent. It is frequently used to implement changes to federal procurement policy, and one of those changes this year is that Section 856 codifies the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP) – with some tweaks. 

Continue Reading DOD’s Mentor Protégé Program Drops “Pilot” From Title as the NDAA Codifies the Initiative

As we have discussed at length on this blog, for more than a year federal courts have repeatedly held that, for various reasons, President Biden lacked the authority to mandate by executive order that government contractors can force their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of contracting with the federal government.  Even when the government claimed that the vaccines would prevent people from catching or spreading COVID-19, at which time there was arguably a medical basis for a mandate, it was clear that there was no statutory or constitutional basis for the authority asserted in Executive Order 14042

Continue Reading DOJ’s Quixotic Defense of the Vaccine Mandate May Undermine Presidential Authority

Unbelievably, after the 11th Circuit narrowed the nationwide injunction issued by the Southern District of Georgia on August 30, which took effect when the court issued its mandate on October 18, the government began preparing to enforce the vaccine mandate against contractors not covered by one of the six district court injunctions.

Continue Reading IT’S ALIVE! The Government Contractor Vaccine Mandate, Back for One More Round

I will present “SBA All Small Mentor Protégé Program Joint Ventures” for the Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Center (Maryland PTAC). In this two-hour presentation, you will learn the ins and outs of the popular Mentor Protégé Program and get answers to these, and many more, questions.

Continue Reading Register Now | SBA All Small Mentor Protégé Program Joint Ventures

I recently authored an article for Connector, the official magazine of the Steel Erectors Association of America, outlining the types of government contracts and workers impacted by Executive Order 14026 (EO 14026) that increased the minimum hourly wage for certain federal contractors from $10.50 to $15.00. This increase went into effect on January 30, 2022 and is intended to promote “the government’s procurement interests in economy and efficiency by contracting with sources that ‘adequately’ compensate their workers.”

Continue Reading Impact of Increased Minimum Wage Requirement for Federal Contractors

I recently provided insight for an article in Law360 on the announcement by the Biden administration to suspend the enforcement of the government contractor vaccine mandate. In August, the Eleventh Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for government contracts but limited the scope of that nationwide injunction to just the plaintiffs. There are currently five other pending challenges to the mandate in different jurisdictions.

Continue Reading Suspension of Government Contractor Vaccine Mandate Enforcement

After we published a post about the Eleventh Circuit’s decision to narrow the scope of the nationwide preliminary injunction of the government contractor vaccine mandate, the government announced that, for the time being, it will not enforce the mandate.  The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force added the following statement to its website:

Regarding Applicable Court Orders and Injunctions: To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce Executive Order 14042. For existing contracts or contract-like instruments (hereinafter “contracts”) that contain a clause implementing requirements of Executive Order 14042, the Government will take no action to enforce the clause implementing requirements of Executive Order 14042, absent further written notice from the agency.

Continue Reading Government to Withhold Enforcement of the Vaccine Mandate. For Now.

On Friday, August 26, the Eleventh Circuit published the long-awaited decision in the government’s appeal of a nationwide injunction halting the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for government contractors and subcontractors. Although the decision found that the plaintiffs were entitled to an injunction, the Eleventh Circuit also found that the Southern District of Georgia’s injunction, which applied nationwide, was overly broad. The court narrowed the injunction to apply only to the plaintiffs, stating that they need not comply with the vaccine mandate in their capacity as contractors or incorporate it in lower-tier subcontracts. The appellate court left the prohibition against federal agencies considering compliance with the mandate in proposal evaluations, but only to the extent a plaintiff submitted a bid.

Continue Reading The Contractor Vaccine Mandate is Back?