Labor Day has a special meaning at Bracker & Marcus LLC, a firm that works hard to protect employee rights. The holiday is a celebration of our nation’s workforce, which makes up a significant percentage of our clientele. These hardworking Americans make our country prosperous not only through their labor, but also by keeping their employers honest. Partner Julie Bracker is past president of the Georgia chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, a civil rights bar association composed of attorneys whose employment litigation practices advocate workers’ rights.
Labor Day was originally conceived as a celebration of unions and their members in 1882. It was made a federal holiday in 1894. Were it not for unions fighting for workers’ rights, it is unlikely that there would be anti-retaliation protections under the law, such as that of the False Claims Act. (Although the statute was first enacted in 1863, whistleblower protections did not become a part of the statute until 1986!) Unions are also responsible for federal worker rights such as the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, which requires that employers pay their employees a minimum local prevailing wage on federal contracts.
When the United States contracts with a private company, it expects them to follow federal and contractual regulations, and failure to abide by these regulations may constitute a violation of the False Claims Act. The Davis-Bacon Act is just one example. If you are aware of any federal laws being violated in the fulfillment of a government contract, including those that affect workers’ rights, contact our firm for legal help.