Events and Products
Politics and Policy
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Aug. 27 released two final rules that drastically alter federal contractors’ existing affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations for individuals with disabilities and veterans. ABC was critical of the rules because they, “set infeasible compliance requirements for federal construction contractors, despite the agency’s inability to demonstrate that contractors fail to meet the previous requirements under federal law.”
On Aug. 23, OSHA unveiled its long-anticipated proposal to address crystalline silica exposure in the construction industry. As expected, the proposed rule drastically lowers the existing permissible exposure limit for respirable silica in the construction industry.
According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics/Department of Labor Aug. 22 report, construction fatalities increased 5 percent in 2012, marking the first increase in six years. According to the report, there were 775 workplace deaths in the private construction industry in 2012 and 738 in 2011. That translates into a 2012 fatality rate of 9.5 per 100,000 workers, up from 9.1 in 2011
The Louisville district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is soliciting comments from the construction industry on the potential use of a project labor agreement (PLA) for the Ambulatory Health Center (AHC) project in Ft. Knox, Kentucky.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in August issued two decisions that hurt employees’ rights by inhibiting their ability to petition for a secret-ballot election after an employer recognizes a union as a monopoly bargaining agent and by creating a new standard for a bargaining unit.
The U.S. House of Representatives Nov. 30 passed the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 3094) by a vote of 235-188. The bill is designed to counteract a proposed rule from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that would shorten the timeframe for union organizing elections and reverse the Board’s recent decision in Specialty Healthcare.
As of July 30, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is fully staffed and the new members are likely to pursue issues the NLRB did not complete in past years, many of which are designed to facilitate or expedite the union organizing process.
ABC's Regulatory Alert provides an overview of the federally mandated rules, regulations and enforcement actions from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other federal agencies. Below are brief summaries of current issues, as well as links to more detailed information and guidance.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has issued a survey requesting comments from the construction industry on the potential use of a project labor agreement (PLA) for the Nuclear Systems Wing & Sustainment Center Phase 2 project at Kirtland Air Force Base, Bernalillo County, N.M.
ABC members can take advantage of a variety of tools, including a website, www.shameonunionbanners.com, and a member resources guide, to counteract union bannering campaigns.
As part of ABC’s partnership with the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) to educate lawmakers and the construction industry about the benefits of public-private partnerships (P3s), ABC South Texas Chapter is sponsoring a conference Sept. 11, in Austin, Texas.
The Lean Construction Institute (LCI) will be holding its LCI Congress Oct. 22-24 in Dallas, which will include presentations and training for both the design and construction aspects of lean building. LCI is providing a variety of registration options. View the options and register now.
Two key pass-through structures favored by small businesses pay a significantly higher effective tax rate than large corporations, according to an Aug. 7 study released by National Federation of Independent Business and the S Corporation Association, of which ABC is a coalition member. Analysis by Quantria Strategies shows that S corps will pay the highest effective tax rate in 2013 at 31.6 percent, compared to 29.4 percent for partnerships, 17.8 percent for C-corporations and 15.1 percent for sole proprietorships. Effective tax rates are the percentage of income businesses pay in taxes.
Two key pass-through structures favored by small businesses pay a significantly higher effective tax rate than large corporations, according to an Aug. 7 study released by National Federation of Independent Business and the S Corporation Association, of which ABC is a coalition member.
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Aug. 8 met with White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials to voice concerns about two anticipated final rules from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) that drastically alter existing affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations regarding individuals with disabilities and veterans.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Aug. 7 posted an enforcement policy on its website, effective immediately, that clarifies it will not apply the provision under its revised hours of service (HOS) rule that requires drivers to take a 30-minutes break for every eight hours of consecutive driving to short-haul drives.
Members and chapter staff can view any of ABC’s past webinars on the Academy for Construction Ethics Compliance and Best Practices.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills in bipartisan votes that will help reform the regulatory process. The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (H.R. 367) passed 232-183 on Aug. 2 and the Energy Consumers Relief Act (H.R. 1582) passed 232-181 on Aug. 1.
The National Labor Relations Board has petitioned for re-hearings in both courts that struck down its August 2011 “Notification of Employee Rights” rule. Under the rule, employers would have been required to display a poster in their workplace that contained a biased and incomplete list of employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
It’s always a good idea to take advantage of any opportunity to meet face to face with a legislator when he or she holds a town hall meeting or forum in the district, but it’s even better to organize a personal meeting or company event. With Congress on recess, now is an excellent time to schedule these events.
Registration is open for 2014 BizCon, which will be held Feb. 11-12 in Maui, Hawaii. ABC members that act now can take advantage of airline discounts available through American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Air Canada and WestJet.
ABC members can get 50 percent off the cost of advertising in Construction Executive’s 2013 Hot Companies special section.