December 4, 2012

GovCon OnDemand Are You Ready Government Contractors and Subcontractors Subject to Stricter AntiTrafficking Requirements Under New Executive Order

Arnold & Porter Webcast

A new executive order focused on human trafficking has far-reaching consequences for all government contractors and subcontractors both in the U.S. and abroad. Are you ready? This brief GovCon OnDemand videocast highlights what you need to know about the new regulations and calls attention to the related potential expanded False Claims Act liability.

Executive Order "Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts" significantly expands responsibility of federal contractors and subcontractors to prevent human trafficking and forced labor.

Doesn't current U.S. law already prohibit human trafficking?

Current U.S. law already prohibits all contractors and their employees from:

  • engaging in "severe forms of trafficking in persons,"
  • procuring commercial sex, or
  • using forced labor during the performance of a contract.

However this Order prohibits significantly more and places more responsibility on contractors and subcontractors.

What does the Executive Order prohibit?

This Order specifically prohibits:

  • Using misleading or fraudulent recruitment practices;
  • Charging recruitment fees to employees;
  • Destroying, concealing, confiscating, or otherwise denying an employee access to his or her identity documents; and
  • Failing to pay return transportation costs upon the end of employment for employees who were brought into a country for the purpose of working on a U.S. government contract or subcontract.

What else does the Executive Order require?

The Executive Order also requires contractors to self-report if they become aware of any activities that are "inconsistent with" the Executive Order or any other applicable law.

What kinds of contractors does this affect?

The Executive Order affects all government contractors and subcontractors, regardless of size of the contract or subcontract.

Examples include:

  • A manufacturer with an overseas plant,
  • A subcontractor that supplies food services for a military mission,
  • A contractor that provides overseas personnel, for example embassy security personnel, or
  • A contractor that performs construction work on a military base.

Special requirements for large overseas contractors and subcontractors

Contractors and subcontractors performing certain large overseas contracts must also

  • implement a detailed compliance program targeting trafficking activities,
  • publish the program on their websites and in their workplaces, and
  • sign annual certifications.

This certification process can expose contractors and subcontractors to potential liability under the False Claims Act.

To learn more about how these issues may affect your company or if you have any questions, please contact:

Kristen Ittig


Dawn Yamane Hewett




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