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ABC believes that employees and employers should have the right to determine wages and working conditions, through either individual or collective bargaining, as they choose, within the boundaries of the law. The employer must have concern for the general welfare of the employee and there must be fair compensation for work performed. By the same token, we believe that the employee has an obligation for satisfactory performance of assigned work.

ABC supports sound legislation in the areas of labor relations, immigration, safety and other areas of employment. Legislation that embraces fair play for both employer and employee is essential to the preservation of our free enterprise system. The law should protect the right of employees to work regardless of race, color, creed, age, sex, national origin, membership or non-membership in a labor organization or other protected class.



5th Circuit Court of Appeals Hears ABC Challenge to NLRB’s “Ambush” Election Final Rule

ABC’s General Counsel, Maury Baskin of Littler Mendelson, Washington, D.C., argued against the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) controversial “ambush” election final rule on March 3. Baskin argued against the rule, also known as Representation-Case Procedures, in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, New Orleans, La. on behalf of ABC of Texas, the Central Texas Chapter of ABC and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). A ruling in the case is expected in the late spring or early summer.  

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ABC Urges House Appropriators to Roll Back Job-Killing Regulations

On Feb. 17, ABC sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) expressing concern over several regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). 

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DOL Releases Guidance Defining Joint Employment

On Jan. 20, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Wage and Hour Division Administrator David Weil released a detailed Administrator’s Interpretation (AI) and related guidance on the definition of joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA).  The new DOL guidance comes on the heels of recent, controversial expansion of the joint employer definition by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). According to the new DOL guidance, joint employment occurs “when an employee is employed by two (or more) employers such that the employers are responsible, both individually and jointly, to the employee for compliance with a statute.”  In keeping with this broad definition, the AI provides multifactor tests to assist with the identification of horizontal and vertical joint employment, its two most common forms. The AI also gives examples of several industries, including construction, in which joint employment is likely to arise (e.g., workers who work for a sub-contractor and possibly a general contractor). 

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National Labor Relations Board

The five-member National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is tasked with interpreting and enforcing the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The agency is supposed to serve as a neutral arbiter of federal labor law, but under the Obama administration it has promoted the narrow policy goals of politically powerful unions.

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Overview
As the economy recovers, companies likely will face a shortage of qualified workers—both craft professionals and legal laborers. Legal immigrants currently do and have for a long time played a vital role in our construction workforce. Unfortunately, current immigration laws disproportionately affect construction companies due to their fluctuating work needs.

Any successful reform measure must work to ensure the enforcement of our laws, the security of our borders and the prosperity of our economy. Immigration reform will fail without a legal channel allowing willing and essential foreign workers the opportunity to work legally in this country.

EEOC Raises Fine for Noncompliance with Notice-posting Requirements

On June 2, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a final rule increasing the penalty for failure to post notices of worker rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Genetic Information Nondisclosure Act (GINA).  Under the final rule, the maximum fine for failure to comply with these notice-posting requirements rises from $210 to $525 per violation.  

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Rules in the Pipeline at FAA, DOL Address Drones, Apprenticeship Programs

The administration released the latest regulatory agenda on May 18th which outlines the priorities in the in the coming months. Previously we outlined the upcoming OSHA rulemakings and those impacting federal contractors. Here are some additional rulemaking impacting the construction industry.

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ABC Sends Letter in Support of the EEOC Reform Act

On May 12, ABC joined with 15 organizations to send a letter  to the U.S. Senate in support of the EEOC Reform Act (S. 2693.  This legislation aims to eliminate the “enormous and unreasonable administrative burdens” posed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) proposed revisions to the Employer Information Report (EEO-1), which would require employers with 100 or more employees to provide data on W-2 pay and hours worked, beginning in 2017.  

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ABC Files Comments on New Paid Sick Leave Requirement for Fed Contractors

On April 12, ABC submitted comments in response to the U.S. Department (DOL) of Labor Wage and Hour Division’s proposed rule on establishing paid sick leave for federal contractors. The proposed rule requires certain federal contractors to offer employees up to seven days of paid sick leave annually, including paid leave for family care. The paid sick leave required by the proposal is in addition to a contractor’s obligations under the Service Contract Act (SCA) and Davis-Bacon Act (DBA). Therefore, a contractor may not receive credit toward its prevailing wage or fringe benefit obligation under the SCA and DBA for paid sick leave provided in satisfaction of the requirements of the proposed rule.

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ABC Comments on EEOC’s Proposed Revisions to the EEO-1 Report

On April 1, ABC submitted comments in response to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) proposed revisions to the Employer Information Report (EEO-1), which would require employers with 100 or more employees to provide data on W-2 pay and hours worked, beginning in 2017. ABC urged the EEOC to withdraw the proposal because it imposes an unjustified burden on employers, fails to generate useful and reliable information to combat pay discrimination, and fails to protect the confidentiality of the information. 

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Independent Contractors

Independent contractors are an important part of the construction industry due to its fluctuating work demands and are often the answer to a pressing demand for the special skills and know-how required for short-term projects.

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Right to Secret Ballot Election

All workers, in every industry, deserve the fundamental American right to a federally supervised secret ballot election. This right is guaranteed when voting in political elections; there is no reason it should be surrendered in the workplace.

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Court Rejects ABC’s Challenge to Ambush Rule

On June 10, 2016, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision rejecting ABC’s challenge to the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) controversial “ambush” election final rule.  ABC General Counsel Maury Baskin of Littler Mendelson P.C., Washington, D.C., argued the case on behalf of ABC of Texas, the Central Texas Chapter of ABC and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Texas on March 3 in New Orleans. 

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House Committee Holds Hearing on DOL’s Final Persuader Rule

ABC reiterated its opposition to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) “persuader rule” ahead of the April 27 U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing on how the newly finalized regulation limits employers’ rights and undermines the right of workers to make informed decisions in union elections. The final rule, issued March 23, redefines “persuader” activity under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) and triggers expanded reporting requirements for employers and their attorneys. 

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ABC Slams Persuader Rule: DOL Proposal Designed to Silence Employers

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 23 – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today issued the following statement in response to the release of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final “persuader rule.” The rule will greatly limit the ability of employers, particularly small businesses, to obtain advice from labor relations experts, and in turn deprive employees of their right to obtain balanced information about union representation.

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ABC Slams Persuader Rule: DOL Proposal Designed to Silence Employers

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today issued the following statement in response to the release of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final “persuader rule.” The rule will greatly limit the ability of employers, particularly small businesses, to obtain advice from labor relations experts, and in turn deprive employees of their right to obtain balanced information about union representation.

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West Virginia Enacts Prevailing Wage Repeal and Right to Work

On Feb. 12, the West Virginia Legislature voted to override Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s vetoes of  a prevailing wage repeal bill and the West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act, making West Virginia the 26th Right to Work state in the country and the fourth state to pass Right to Work since 2012. 

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“Persuader” Reporting Requirements

On March 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) finalized a new rule designed to eviscerate employers’ rights to free speech, freedom of association and legal counsel. Known as the “persuader” rule, this change will have a profound chilling effect on labor relations advice for employers, and in turn deprive employees of their right to obtain balanced information about union representation.

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Right to Secret Ballot Election

All workers, in every industry, deserve the fundamental American right to a federally supervised secret ballot election. This right is guaranteed when voting in political elections; there is no reason it should be surrendered in the workplace.

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Right to Work

Right to Work laws guarantee workers can seek employment without fearing they will be required to join (or pay) a union if they are hired.

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Salting Abuse

Salting is not merely an organizing tool—it has become an instrument of economic destruction aimed at nonunion companies.

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Beck Rights/Paycheck Protection

Beck rights, also known as “paycheck protection,” provide workers an opportunity to decide if their compulsory union dues can be used for non-collective bargaining purposes, such as political activities.

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Increase in Penalties Begins in August

Due to a provision in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, all agencies with civil monetary penalties covered by the statute have the authority to raise penalties annually in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Some agencies affected by this increase include DOL, EPA and OSHA. The provision also allows OSHA to have a one-time “catch-up adjustment” in 2016 since the fines have not increased since 1990.

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EEOC Releases Final Rules on Employer Wellness Programs

On May 16, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released final rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) that address employer-sponsored wellness programs and financial inducements.  The rules specifically limit incentives for participation in programs that involve disability-related inquiries and/or medical examinations or require the disclosure of a spouse’s current or past health status information. 

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Rules in the Pipeline at FAA, DOL Address Drones, Apprenticeship Programs

The administration released the latest regulatory agenda on May 18th which outlines the priorities in the in the coming months. Previously we outlined the upcoming OSHA rulemakings and those impacting federal contractors. Here are some additional rulemaking impacting the construction industry.

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Two-Year Budget Deal Signed by President Obama Carries Implications for Contractors

President Obama Nov. 2 signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (H.R. 1314), which suspended the application of the debt limit until March 2017 and ensured that the United States would meet its financial obligations. The deal was approved by a bi-partisan group of legislators the Unites States Senate Oct. 30 and the House of Representatives on Oct. 28. 

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OSHA’s Confined Spaces in Construction Rule in Full Effect

Employers can now be cited for not complying with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) confined spaces in construction final rule. A temporary enforcement policy of not issuing citations--provided employers made good-faith efforts to comply--expired on Oct. 2. 

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OSHA Releases Guide on Safety and Health Training For Workers

OSHA Aug. 4 released a guide titled, “Training Requirements in OSHA Standards,” that compiles information related to the agency’s mandatory safety and health training for workers into a 266-page document that is divided into five chapters, including one focused on construction safety training.

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OSHA Issues New Employer Recordkeeping Proposal

OSHA July 29 issued a proposed rule clarifying an employer’s continuing obligation to make and maintain accurate records of reportable injuries and illnesses.

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OSHA Reform

Exceptional jobsite safety and health practices are inherently good for business. Unfortunately, the anti-employer agendas of some members of Congress, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) emphasis on aggressive enforcement and burdensome and unnecessary rulemakings, are eroding the potential for successful, collaborative efforts with employers to make workplaces safer.

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New Fact Sheets Available on Hazards Related to Scaffolds, Marine Terminals and Confined Spaces

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released three new fact sheets that are free to download from OSHA's Publications webpage. A ladder jack scaffolds fact sheet* illustrates how to prevent injuries from falls when using work platforms supported by portable ladders. A confined spaces fact sheet* emphasizes the OSHA requirement for employers to develop and implement procedures for summoning rescue or emergency services in permit-required confined spaces. Lastly, a fact sheet on longshoring in marine terminals* describes how to prevent semi-tractor driver injuries during container lifting operations. 

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ABC of Michigan-Supported Apprenticeship Ratio Reform Signed Into Law

ABC of Michigan secured an important victory for electricians when Gov. Rick Snyder (R-Mich.) signed industry-backed Public Act 73  of 2016 on April 5. ABC of Michigan advocated for the legislation, which will increase the ratio from one to three apprentices per one journeyman electrician through an amendment of the Electrical Administrative Act. State Rep. Amanda Price (R-Holland) introduced the bill in January in response to a court decision in 2008 that lifted an injunction and cleared the way for a one-to-one ratio to be implemented. 

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ABC Submits Comments on Proposed DOL Apprenticeship Rule

On Jan. 20, ABC submitted comments in response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration proposed rule which seeks to update the equal opportunity regulations that implement the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937 by amending 29 CFR Part 30. Current regulations prohibit discrimination in registered apprenticeship programs on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, and sex. The proposed rule updates the equal opportunity standards to include age (40 or older), genetic information, sexual orientation and disability among the protected base that cannot be discriminated against. The proposal also requires sponsors to take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in the registered apprenticeship programs.

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Workforce Development

The construction industry provides good, well-paying jobs to American workers every year. To qualify for many of these jobs, however, workers need high-quality, flexible skilled training.

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Apprenticeship/Job Training

ABC believes all American workers, regardless of labor affiliation, should enjoy equal access to critical job training.

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