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ABC, Coalition Argue Against Government-Mandated Project Labor Agreements in Letter to White House

ABC joined a diverse coalition of more than a dozen associations and organizations representing millions of workers in the construction industry in a letter to President Joe Biden opposing the administration’s new executive order mandating project labor agreements on federal construction contracts of $35 million or more. Executive Order 14063 was signed on Feb. 4.

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ABC-Opposed America COMPETES Act Passes the House With Anti-Competitive Provisions

On Feb. 4, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4521, he America COMPETES Act by a vote of 222-210. The ABC-opposed bill is filled with anti-competitive provisions that would impose harmful labor policies, including instituting “card-check” provisions, expanding prevailing wage requirements and restricting access to the nation’s registered apprenticeship system for nonunion workers through the ABC-opposed National Apprenticeship Act.

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ABC Urges EPA and Army Corps to Withdraw WOTUS Proposed Rule

On Feb. 7, ABC, as a member of the Waters Advocacy Coalition, filed comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed rule to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” applicable to all Clean Water Act programs. The rule would repeal the Trump administration Navigable Waters Protection Rule and codify a definition that reflects the pre-2015 regulatory regime that the agencies are currently implementing. Raising numerous important concerns, the coalition urged the agencies to withdraw the proposed rule, reconsider the rule while addressing the coalition’s concerns and reengaging stakeholders, and repropose a rule that adheres to the CWA and relevant U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

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ABC: President Biden's Pro-PLA Executive Order Will Increase Costs to Taxpayers and Worsen Skilled Labor Shortage

On Feb. 4, President Biden signed Executive Order 14063, Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects, which mandates the use of PLAs on federal construction projects of $35 million or more in value.

 
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White House Union Report Fails to Create Opportunities for All of the Construction Industry

On Feb. 7, the Biden administration’s White House Task Force On Worker Organizing And Empowerment issued its report on how to boost union membership in the federal government and public and private sectors.

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ABC to FHWA: Welcome All Qualified Firms and Workers to Build EV Charging Stations

On Jan. 28, ABC submitted comments to the Federal Highway Administration on behalf of member contractors who install and perform work related to electric vehicle charging stations and other alternative clean energy fuel stations. ABC said needlessly excluding all contractors and workers who do not participate in the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program and/or government-registered apprenticeship programs from building EV charging station and alternative fuel projects could be problematic.

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GOP Governors Push Back on Union Favoritism in White House Infrastructure-Funding Policies

Republican governors are pushing back on Biden administration actions steering federal dollars for infrastructure projects to state and local governments prioritizing pro-labor policies.

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ABC Cautions OSHA: Keep Any Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Regs Simple and Flexible

On Jan. 26, ABC, as a steering committee member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings. CISC members feel strongly that a regulatory approach—if adopted—must be simple and should integrate the key concepts of “Water, Rest, Shade.”

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ABC Welcomes New Beam Club Hall of Fame Level Member Dan Bertler

ABC has added Wisconsin Chapter member Dan Bertler of Supreme Structures Inc. to the Beam Club Hall of Fame Level.

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OSHA Withdraws COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS

On Jan. 26, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced it is withdrawing its COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, which applied to employers with 100 or more employees. The withdrawal is effective Jan. 26.

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OSHA Increases Civil Monetary Penalties for Employers

On Jan. 14, pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act, the U.S. Department of Labor published a final rule to adjust for inflation the civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced by the department, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, for 2022. This final rule went into effect on Jan. 15, 2022. The increased penalty levels apply to any penalties assessed after the effective date of this rule.

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ABC Welcomes New Beam Club Presidential Level Member JR Reeseman

ABC has added Wisconsin Chapter member JR Reeseman of Reesman's Excavating & Grading Inc. to the Beam Club Presidential Level.

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ABC Cheers Supreme Court OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate Ruling

On Jan. 13, ABC applauded the U.S. Supreme Court for reinstating the stay on 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 behalf of the construction industry, ABC filed one of the emergency appeals to the Supreme Court leading to this successful outcome. The Supreme Court remanded the case to the 6th Circuit, which will consider the merits of the case.

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ABC Welcomes New Beam Club Presidential Level Member Tim Harrison

ABC has added Alabama Chapter member Tim Harrison of Harrison Construction Inc. to the Beam Club Presidential Level.

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ABC Cheers Supreme Court OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate Ruling

On Jan. 13, ABC applauded the U.S. Supreme Court for reinstating the stay on 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 behalf of the construction industry, ABC filed one of the emergency appeals to the Supreme Court leading to this successful outcome.

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Reminder: Deadline for Electronically Submitting 2021 OSHA Form 300A Data Is March 2

On Jan. 5, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a press release reminding certain employers that the administration began collecting calendar year 2021 Form 300A data on Jan. 2. The deadline to electronically submit the form is March 2.

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Enforcement of the OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS Began Jan. 10

As of this writing, the Supreme Court has not yet issued a decision on the appeal to reinstitute a 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.

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ABC Welcomes New Beam Club Presidential Level Member Troy Carlson

ABC has added Wisconsin Chapter member Troy Carlson of Ansay & Associates LLC to the Beam Club Presidential Level.

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DOL to Host Compliance Seminar on Executive Order 14026, Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division will be hosting a free virtual seminar on Executive Order 14026, Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors on Wednesday, Jan. 26, and Thursday, Jan. 27, at 1:30 p.m. ET. The training is the latest in WHD’s ongoing efforts to increase awareness and improve compliance with federal prevailing wage requirements among employers performing work on federally funded construction or services contracts.

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COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates: Supreme Court to Hear ABC’s Challenge to OSHA ETS; CMS Mandate Enjoined in 25 States; Federal Contractor Mandate Injunction Upheld

Three different federal COVID-19 vaccination mandates issued under the Biden administration continue to be challenged in the courts. Read the important developments on the federal contractor, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and Occupational Safety and Health Administration vaccination mandates.

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Stay Lifted on OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS—What Employers Need to Do Now

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.

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NDAA Passes Without Harmful Labor Provisions

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.

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Biden Administration Releases Fall 2021 Regulatory Agenda

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. 

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New Guidance on Federal Contractor COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate; What’s Next for the OSHA ETS and CMS Mandate

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.

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ABC’s New Hampshire/Vermont Chapter Announces New Registered Carpentry Apprenticeship Program

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. 

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ABC Wins Key Nationwide Challenge Against Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate

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

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NDAA Bill Passes House Without ABC-Opposed Labor Provisions

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.

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Forty-Five Members Earn AQC Credential in 2021

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.

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DOL Extends Comment Period on Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Rulemaking

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 heat-specific workplace rule, which will affect contractors who work in extreme heat. The ANPRM was originally published in the Federal Register on Oct. 27.

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ABC Expands Construction Careers Through POWER Initiative

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.

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Courts Block Three Federal COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates

Recently, courts have blocked three different federal vaccination mandates issued under the Biden administration. Read the important developments on the federal contractor, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and Occupational Safety and Health Administration vaccination mandates.

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Proposed NEPA Revisions Must Keep Clarity and Consistency From 2020 Rule, Says ABC

On Nov. 22, ABC filed comments with a coalition stakeholders to the Council on Environmental Quality in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking revising the implementing regulations of the National Environmental Policy Act. ABC filed these comments in support of a streamlined approach to the permitting process under NEPA to reduce delays hindering critical projects, resulting in better infrastructure, a stronger economy and continued environmental stewardship.

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ABC Welcomes New Beam Club Presidential Level Member Brandon Mabile

ABC has added Greater Houston Chapter member Brandon Mabile of Performance Contractors Inc. to the Beam Club Presidential Level.

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DOL Issues Final Rule Increasing Federal Contractor Minimum Wage

On Nov. 22, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued its final rule implementing President Biden’s Executive Order 14026, Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors, which applies to all workers performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts. The minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour beginning Jan, 30, 2022, superseding a scheduled increase to $11.25 that will occur on Jan. 1 under EO 13658, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors.

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Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Signed into Law

On Nov. 15, President Biden signed H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, into law at the White House. The IIJA authorizes nearly $550 billion in new federal money for infrastructure projects, while renewing approximately $1.2 trillion for existing programs that were set to expire.

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6th Circuit to Hear Challenges to OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Testing Standard

On Nov. 16, via lottery, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit was chosen to hear challenges to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, which applies to employers with 100 or more employees. This development follows the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit’s Nov. 12 stay order and OSHA’s announcement that it has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation..

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Updated COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance Issued for Federal Contractors

The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force recently issued updated guidance on when covered contractor employees must be vaccinated, as well as new FAQS on vaccination and safety protocols and workplaces.

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ABC Seeks to Overturn OSHA COVID Vaccination and Testing ETS

In a Nov. 9 press release, ABC and its Alabama chapter announced that they filed a petition for review with the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 11th Circuit against the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for its COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, which applies to employers with 100 or more employees.

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ABC Free Enterprise Alliance Rounds Out Six-Figure Ad Buy With Campaign Against Reconciliation Bill

On Nov. 10, ABC’s Free Enterprise Alliance announced it has completed a $200,000 issue advocacy ad buy to educate the public on dangerous policies in the Democrats’ reconciliation bill and other legislation moving through Congress.

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ABC Pennsylvania Chapters Help Formerly Incarcerated Individuals Achieve Career Dreams

The ABC Keystone, Eastern Pennsylvania, Western Pennsylvania and Cumberland Valley chapters recently signed a statewide letter of agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to help formerly incarcerated citizens kickstart a career in construction.

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ABC Urges OSHA to Extend Comment Deadline for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Rulemaking

On Nov. 5, ABC submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration requesting a 60-day extension for the public to submit feedback on its advance notice of proposed rulemaking for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings, which will begin the process to consider a heat-specific workplace rule. ABC also requested comment extensions as a member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition and Coalition for Workplace Safety.

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OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard Is Ready for Release

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget has concluded its review of the OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard rulemaking, which will apply to employers with 100 or more employees as required by President Biden’s Path Out of the Pandemic COVID-19 Action Plan.

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EEOC Releases COVID-19 Resources on Religious Accommodation Requests

On Oct. 28, as a reference for employers and employees, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shared its own internal religious accommodation request form with the public. The EEOC stated, “While the EEOC’s internal forms typically are not made public, the EEOC shared this resource given the extraordinary circumstances employers and employees face due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

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Safer Federal Workforce Task Force Issues More New Vaccination FAQs for Federal Contactors

On Nov. 1, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force posted new frequently asked questions for federal contractors, whose covered employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 8 unless the contractor is legally required to provide an accommodation for medical or religious reasons. The new FAQs cover vaccination and safety protocols, scope and applicability of task force guidance for federal contractors and compliance.

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Proposed Revisions to Buy American Act Must Aim to Reduce Contractor Burden

On Oct. 28, ABC submitted comments to the U.S. Departments of Defense, General Services Administration and National Aeronautics and Space Administration to urge the agencies to clarify several aspects of the proposal and provided recommendations to reduce the burden and costs for federal contractors to comply with the Buy American Act.

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OFCCP to Hold Webinar on Construction Compliance Reviews

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs announced it will hold a webinar titled “Construction Compliance Reviews” on Wednesday, Nov. 10, from 2-4 p.m. ET.  This webinar comes after the OFCCP published the latest Corporate Scheduling Announcement List for construction contractors in September 2021.

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Safer Federal Workforce Task Force Issues New COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs for Federal Contactors

On Oct. 21, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force posted new Vaccination and Safety Protocols frequently asked questions for federal contractors, whose covered employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 8 unless the contractor is legally required to provide an accommodation for medical or religious reasons.

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ABC Creates Guidance Document for Members on Federal COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates

ABC has developed a resource and guidance document for ABC chapters and members to learn about the latest updates and ABC actions on the new federal vaccination mandates. The document, which will be updated frequently, includes federal guidance, ABC advocacy letters, Newsline articles, press releases, ABC earned media coverage and more.

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DOL Initiates Rulemaking on Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings

On Oct. 26, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it will be issuing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings, which will begin the process to consider a heat-specific workplace rule. The ANPRM was officially published in the federal register on Oct. 27.

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ABC Warns Congress About the Impacts of Supply Chain Disruptions

The construction industry continues to feel the strain of ongoing supply chain disruptions, ABC said in a letter to the U.S. House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Regulations, which held a hearing on global supply chains and small business trade challenges on Oct. 10.

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