The conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2020, which authorizes funding for the Department of Defense and other national security programs, contains several provisions that have an impact on contractors and apprenticeship programs in the United States. The legislation passed the House on Dec. 11 and is expected to be enacted into law.
Included in the conference report is a requirement that the U.S. comptroller general conduct a report on DoD contractor violations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 or the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. It also directs the comptroller general to conduct a study on the contracted practices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that specifically focuses on how the Corps complies with and enforces the Davis-Bacon Act.
The conference report also affects the use of qualified apprentices by military construction contractors, requiring contractors to establish goals for apprentices to consist of 20% of the total workforce employed on a contract and defines qualified apprentice as an employee participating in a Department of Labor registered apprenticeship or certain high-quality industry-recognized apprenticeship programs.