The National Academies

NCHRP 20-06/Topic 18-02 [Final]

Enforceability of Local Hire Preference Programs
[ NCHRP 20-06 (Legal Problems Arising out of Highway Programs) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $37,000
Research Agency: Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo
Principal Investigator: James B. McDaniel
Effective Date: 8/1/2011
Completion Date: 8/31/2012

Some public agencies are requiring contractors that work on public construction projects to hire local residents or use local businesses to perform the work. These requirements can be statutory, regulatory, or a function of agency policy. Contractors similarly may be required to establish a jobs training program or to hire participants of existing job training programs. The programs are potentially subject to legal challenge or federal funding restrictions.   It would be useful for agency counsel to have ready access to a report discussing legal issues related to such programs and examining the distinctions between contracts that do and do not involve federal funding when considering such programs.
Cases challenging such programs include United Bldg. & Const. v. Mayor & Council of Camden, 104 S.Ct. 1020, 1026 (1984)  and City of Cleveland v. State of Ohio et al., 2007 WL 4123743 (C.A. 6 (Ohio)) and should be included in the research and analysis.
The final product would include:
  • a discussion of the Constitutional issues
  • an analysis of case law and other legal authority associated with such programs
  • identification of representative examples of entities that have implemented such programs and include information regarding program challenges
  • identification of steps that would be advisable for an agency to take to ensure that its program will pass judicial scrutiny
  • identification of any issues associated with federal funding
  • a discussion of remedies available to an agency if the contractor fails to comply with the requirements.

STATUS: Research has been completed and published as NCHRP Legal Research Digest No. 59 and is available for download from the TRB website.

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