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Francis Lowe's Articles

Trump Backs Senate Immigration Reform Bill

On Aug. 2, President Donald J. Trump announced his support for S. 354, the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act. The bill, which was introduced in February by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.), addresses the number of green cards issued each year and creates a merit-based immigration system that replaces the current permanent employment visa framework.

Senate Confirms Kaplan to NLRB

On Aug. 2, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm the nomination of Marvin Kaplan to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The Senate voted 50-48 to confirm Kaplan’s position to serve on the five-member board for a term expiring on Aug. 27, 2020.

ABC Members Lead ENR’s Top 400 Contractors Ranking

Eight of the nation's top 10 construction companies are ABC members, according to Engineering News-Record’s recently published annual list of Top 400 Contractors. The firms were ranked based on 2016 revenue.

DOL Requests Information Related to Overtime Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)’s Wage and Hour Division recently published a Request for Information (RFI) related to the overtime final rule. This is likely the first step in issuing a revised proposed overtime exemption rule. The public has the opportunity to submit comments on the RFI until Sept. 25, 2017.

Be a Hero and Download the ABC Action App Today

During ABC Legislative Week 2017, ABC launched a video, “Be a Hero: Download the ABC Action App” to encourage construction advocates to download the mobile app and advance the merit shop message on Capitol Hill. Now members can share the video as well. 

Revised Form I-9 Released by Citizenship and Immigration Services

Last week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a newly-revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, which will be made mandatory starting Sept. 18, 2017. Employers may use the revised version immediately (revision date of 7/17/17 N), but may also continue to use Form I-9 with a revision date of 11/14/16 N through Sept. 17.

Court Rules Jersey City PLA Requirement Violates NLRA

Last month, the U. S. District Court for the District of New Jersey found that a 2007 Jersey City ordinance requiring project labor agreements (PLAs) on private projects receiving tax abatements is preempted by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

Senate Committee Approves ABC-supported Nominees to the NLRB

On July 19, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) approved the nominations of Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel to serve on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Both votes occurred along party lines.

House Defeats Measure to Reform Davis-Bacon Calculations

On July 13, the House of Representatives voted down Rep. Paul Gosar’s amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 183-242.The amendment, H. Amdt. 180 (Gosar) H.R. 2810, would have directed the secretary of labor to use Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data for wage determinations under the Davis-Bacon Act (DBA). Using accurate BLS data would prove the federal government is sincere in its goal of curbing waste and stretching project dollars further in addition to increasing competition, lowering costs and helping to level the playing field for all members of the construction industry.

OSHA Issues Proposed Rule on Beryllium Exposure for Construction Sector

On June 27, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a proposed rule to revoke the ancillary provisions of the Beryllium final rule for the construction and shipyard sectors that OSHA finalized on Jan. 9, 2017. Beryllium is a lightweight but strong metal used in a number of industries. The January final rule points directly to the construction task of abrasive blasting operations which use slags that contain trace amounts of beryllium.