EO or Uh-Oh: Biden’s Executive Order Requiring Project Labor Agreements on Federal Construction Projects

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This article will explain PLAs, describe Obama’s previous EO on PLAs, and consider the impact of Biden’s Executive Order on the future of federal construction projects.

March 14, 2022
Nicole Stone, Jones Walker LLP - ConsensusDocs

On February 4, 2022, President Biden issued Executive Order (“EO”) 14063[1]. The EO requires that a Project Labor Agreement (“PLA”) be in place for any federal “large-scale construction projects” estimated at $35 million or more. To compete for or perform projects subject to the PLA requirement contractors must agree to be subject to the applicable PLA. For federal projects under $35 million or projects receiving federal financial assistance are not required by the EO to have PLA, but federal agencies will have discretion to require PLAs. The EO will not go into effect until after implementing regulations are finalized, probably after the beginning of June 2022.

Requiring PLAs on federal construction projects is a substantial shift from even the Obama Administration’s policy in favor of PLAs. Biden’s PLA EO will have an impact on federal contractors and likely industry repercussions beyond federal procurement. Only time and experience will tell whether those impacts will all be positive as the Biden Administration insists or will drive up construction costs and give unions more leverage than they have in the market as the critics insist.

Ms. Stone may be contacted at nstone@joneswalker.com


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