Firms have until Sept. 2 to submit comments on a Labor Dept. proposal to require contractors and subcontractors to post notices informing their employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act, which includes the right to join a union. The proposed rule, published in the Aug. 3 Federal Register, was drafted to implement a Jan. 30 executive order by President Barack Obama. Violation of the rule could lead to contract suspension, termination or debarment.

Nonunion construction groups say they have concerns with the proposal. Bob Hirsch, director of legal and regulatory affairs for Associated Builders and Contractors, says the administration lacks the legal authority to implement the proposal as written. Moreover, the language required in the notices is written in such a way that it could create more confusion than clarity for employees, Hirsch says.