Court Overturns Ordinance Restricting Bidding On City Projects

CLP Resources A Massachusetts Federal District Court on April 18 ruled against a “responsible employer ordinance” (REO) in Quincy, Mass., that contained provisions favoring city residents. The ordinance also contained requirements that employers must provide group health insurance and a pension plan or annuity, and maintain an apprenticeship program before being eligible to work on city projects.

The same court in October 2011 overturned another, similar REO in Fall River, Mass. In the 2011 decision, the court found all contested provisions unlawful, including the residency requirements.

In the April 18 decision, the district court found that the Fall River decision “is directly applicable to the Quincy REO” and overturned the Quincy ordinance as well. 

“We are very happy with this decision,” said ABC Rhode Island Chapter President and CEO Robert Boiselle. “This is the second time in six months that this U.S. District Court has struck down a so-called responsible employer ordinance, sending a clear message that eliminating contractors from competing for public construction projects is not acceptable."

The decision in the Fall River case is available here and the decision for the Quincy case is available here.