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On Dec. 17, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the 5th Circuit’s stay of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, which applies to employers with 100 or more employees.

On Dec. 15, the House and Senate passed the annual National Defense Authorization Act, following negotiations to ensure passage of the bill before the end of the year. Notably, the NDAA agreement removed several harmful labor provisions opposed by ABC from the previous version of the bill passed only in the House.

On Dec. 10, the Biden administration released its Fall 2021 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The agenda lists upcoming rulemakings and other regulatory actions from each agency that the administration expects to publish through the end of the year and into 2022. ABC has prepared a summary of the actions of interest to ABC members by agency. 

Courts have blocked three different federal COVID-19 vaccination mandates issued under the Biden administration. Since the court orders staying the different federal mandates are at this time only preliminary, it is premature to say the threat posed by the federal mandates is past. It appears the mandates will be at a minimum delayed, but there will inevitably be appeals, perhaps up to the Supreme Court. There are also many private, state and local mandates that are not affected by these court rulings.

ABC’s New Hampshire/Vermont Chapter recently partnered with the New Hampshire Home Builders Association, ApprenticeshipNH and Manchester Community College to create a registered carpentry apprenticeship program approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. The program is desperately needed to help address the shortage of carpenters in the state. 

On Dec. 7, ABC applauded a Georgia federal court for granting a nationwide preliminary injunction order against the federal contractor vaccine mandate.

On Dec. 7, the House of Representatives passed a finalized version of the $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 363 to 70. The compromise bill, negotiated by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, incorporates elements of the version that passed the House in September and legislation approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee in July.

The Accredited Quality Contractor program recognizes and honors construction firms that document their commitment to excellence in five key areas of corporate responsibility: quality; safety; craft and management education; talent management, including inclusion, diversity and equity; and community relations. A company that meets the criteria set forth in the program and has earned Gold, Platinum or Diamond status in ABC’s STEP Safety Management System is formally designated an Accredited Quality Contractor.

On Dec. 2, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration extended the period for submitting comments on its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings by 30 days, to Jan. 26, 2022. This will begin the process to consider a

ABC’s Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter recently expanded into Philadelphia by developing the Philadelphia Opportunity & Workforce Education Resource Initiative, which aims to reach “Every Philadelphian, from every neighborhood” and promote the pathways to becoming a construction craft professional. The POWER initiative will also create long-term growth opportunities for individuals, communities, ABC members and the city of Philadelphia.