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ABC Meets With OMB, Voices Concerns About OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard

On Oct. 20, ABC met with the Office of Management and Budget to express its concerns about the forthcoming U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, 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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ABC Opposes IRS Reporting Proposal

On Oct. 14, ABC joined more than 100 associations in a letter to leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives opposing a proposed tax information reporting requirement that would have an impact on many ABC contractors and nearly all small businesses in America with a bank account.

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ABC Members Ranked Among ENR’s Top Specialty Contractors

Of the nation’s top 10 specialty contractors, five are ABC members, according to Engineering News-Record’s recently published list of Top 600 Specialty Contractors. These successful contractors were ranked based on 2020 revenue.

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OSHA Sends COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard to OMB for Review

On Oct. 12, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration sent a COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard rulemaking to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget for review, 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. The review at OIRA is usually the final step in the process before a rule is officially published in the federal register.

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ABC Spreads the Word About Suicide Prevention Month

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, construction occupations have the highest rate of suicide, as well as the highest number of suicides, across all occupational groups. To combat these statistics and spread awareness, Greg Sizemore, ABC’s vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development and chair of the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention, traveled to five ABC chapters across the country to speak about what ABC chapters and members can do to help those who may be struggling. He was also interviewed in various trade publications and news outlets, such as the Marietta Daily Journal, For Construction Pros and Workwear Guru.

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ABC Continues to Advocate as Infrastructure and Reconciliation Negotiations Persist Through October

Congress passed a 30-day extension of the highway funding bill, just hours before surface transportation authorization lapsed. The extension came at the end of a weekslong negotiation and interparty disagreement on a trillion-dollar-plus budget reconciliation package and the bipartisan Senate-passed infrastructure bill, H.R.3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

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

On Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force posted new information for federal contactors, whose covered employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 8 unless the covered contractor is legally required to provide an accommodation for medical or religious reasons.

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NLRB General Counsel Issues Memo on Student-Athletes That Could Affect Employers

On Sept. 29, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued Memorandum GC 21-08 to all Field offices asserting that student-athletes receiving scholarships at private colleges and universities are employees under the National Labor Relations Act.

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DOL Issues Davis-Bacon Conformance Request Guide

On Sept. 28, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division published the Davis-Bacon Wage Determination Conformance Guide to assist construction contractors and other industry stakeholders in understanding the process of seeking a conformance under the DBA and Related Acts.

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Safer Federal Workforce Task Force Issues COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance for Federal Contractors

On Sept. 9, President Biden announced his Path Out of the Pandemic: COVID-19 Action Plan and signed Executive Order 14042, Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors. As required by the EO, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force recently issued guidance on COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors. According to the guidance, covered employees must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8, unless the covered contractor is legally required to provide an accommodation for medical or religious reasons.

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ABC, CISC Caution OSHA About Emergency Temporary Standard on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing

On Sept. 27, ABC, a steering committee member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, sent a letter  to James Frederick, acting assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, voicing concerns related to OSHA’s forthcoming COVID-19 vaccination and testing Emergency Temporary Standard, 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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DOL Announces Actions to Reduce Heat-Related Illness

As part of an interagency Biden administration effort to protect workers from the hazards associated with extreme heat, indoors and out, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration announced the following actions in a Sept. 20 press release.

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Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors to Increase Jan. 1, 2022

On Sept. 15, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced the minimum wage for federal contractors will increase from $10.95 per hour to $11.25 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2022.

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ABC Updates COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit With Latest Resources

In light of changing guidance regarding vaccine policies, ABC has updated resources on the COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit as part of the Coronavirus Update webpage to help inform and educate members about the latest available resources and information on the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Take Action: Democrats’ Budget Reconciliation Package Contains ABC-Opposed Tax and Labor Provisions

On Sept. 15, House Democrats released additional details on planned tax increases to pay for their $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package. The House Ways and Means Committee continues to mark up its portion of the budget reconciliation package, and some of the top-line tax provisions already revealed may affect ABC members.

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President Biden Unveils Sweeping Six-Part Action Plan to Combat COVID-19

On Sept. 9, President Biden unveiled a six-pronged national strategy to combat the spread of COVID-19, which will impact large private employers and federal contractors.

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EPA, Corps Halt Implementation of Trump-era WOTUS Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers recently announced they have halted implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule nationwide and are reverting back to a definition of waters of the United States, or WOTUS, established in the 1980s. This announcement comes after a federal district court judge struck down the Trump administration’s final rule defining waters of the United States that are federally regulated under the Clean Water Act.

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ABC-Supported Truth in Employment Act Introduced in the House to End ‘Salting’ Practices

On Sept. 8, Rep. Rick Allen, R-Ga., a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, introduced the ABC-supported Truth in Employment Act, H.R. 5178. This legislation would amend the National Labor Relations Act to protect small businesses and their employees from the coercive tactic used by big unions known as “salting,” which makes small businesses targets of harassment campaigns designed to increase forced unionization.

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Take Action: Urge Congress to Oppose the Partisan Reconciliation Package

On Sept. 7, ABC issued an action alert opposing the U.S. House of Representative’s efforts to move forward with the partisan budget reconciliation process that could result in tax hikes and far-reaching labor requirements for ABC members. Please urge your representatives to oppose this package this week as House committees continue to mark up their sections of the package.

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OFCCP Issues 2021 Corporate Scheduling List for Construction Contractors

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has issued the latest Corporate Scheduling Announcement List for construction contractors for fiscal year 2021, which includes 400 federal contractors, federally assisted contractors and subcontractors.

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ABC Members Ranked Among BDC’s Top Contractors

Of the nation's top 20 construction companies, 14 are ABC members, according to Building Design + Construction’s recently published list of Top 140 Contractors. These successful contractors were ranked based on 2020 revenue. Congratulations to these #ABCMeritShopProud members!

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Judge Overturns ABC-Supported Trump-Era WOTUS Rule

On Aug. 30, a U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona judge struck down the Trump administration’s final rule revising the definition of “waters of the United States” that are federally regulated under the Clean Water Act. As a member of the Waters Advocacy Coalition, ABC applauded the 2020 rule, known as the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which provided four clear categories of waters under the CWA that businesses and landowners could easily understand. 

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Increasing the Federal Contractor Minimum Wage Will Create Unnecessary Burdens for Construction Contractors, Says ABC

On Aug. 27, ABC submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking to increase the minimum wage for federal contractors.

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Democrats Regain Majority on the NLRB

On Aug. 28, David M. Prouty was sworn in as a new Democratic member of the National Labor Relations Board for a term expiring on Aug. 27, 2026. Prouty replaces Republican member William Emanuel, whose term expired in August. Democrats now have a 3-2 majority, with Marvin Kaplan and John Ring serving as the two Republican members.

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ABC Tells OSHA Not to Expand COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard to Construction

On Aug. 20, the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, of which ABC is a steering committee member, submitted comments in response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Occupational Exposure to COVID-19; Emergency Temporary Standard interim final rule

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House Passes Rule to Advance Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and ABC-Opposed Partisan Budget Resolution

On Aug. 24, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to advance a $3.5 trillion budget resolution, which was embedded in a House rule that tied its advancement to both the Senate’s bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure package—the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—and H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.  The rule was approved by the House by a vote of 220-212, with all House Democrats supporting the rule and all Republicans voting in opposition.

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EEOC Announces New Filing Deadline for EEO-1 Component 1 Data Collection for 2019 and 2020

Due to the continuing impact of COVID-19 on business operations, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced on Aug. 18 that the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 data collection filing deadline has been extended to Monday, Oct. 25, 2021. The deadline was previously extended from July 19 to Aug. 23.

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NLRB’s New General Counsel Issues Memorandum Outlining Priorities

On Aug. 12, the National Labor Relations Board’s new general counsel, Jennifer A. Abruzzo, issued Memorandum GC 21-04 to all NLRB regional offices, which outlines the priorities of the Office of the General Counsel.

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The PRO Act Would Be a Crushing Economic Blow to 27 Right-to-Work States, AAF Study Finds

The Protecting the Right to Organize Act would produce significant economic costs for the nation’s 27 right-to-work states in an effort to increase union power at the expense of worker freedom and small businesses, according to a report issued by the American Action Forum on Aug. 13.

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ABC Celebrates Safe + Sound Week

From Aug. 9-16, ABC celebrated Safe + Sound Week to recognize the successes of workplace health and safety programs and offer information and ideas on how to keep America’s workers safe.

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Senate Passes Partisan Budget Resolution; Reconciliation Package Expected to Include ABC-Opposed Provisions

On Aug. 11, The U.S. Senate passed a Budget Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 before leaving for its August recess in a 50-49 vote that will set the stage for a proposed $3.5 trillion partisan spending bill through the budget reconciliation process. Prior to the final vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., also released reconciliation instructions for Senate committees so they can begin to draft relevant sections of the final spending bill as it relates to their policy areas, which they hope to finish by Sept. 15.

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Senate Passage of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Could Yield Crucial Wins, Says ABC

On Aug. 10, the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act with bipartisan support in a 69-30 vote, with 19 Republicans joining all 50 senators in the Democratic caucus to approve the legislation.

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OSHA Releases Updated COVID-19 Guide

On Aug. 2, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Alliance program issued an updated guide containing COVID-19 guidance and resources for employers from a variety of agencies including the DOL, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, the guide includes input from industry groups on best practices for COVID-19 safety in the workplace.

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SBA Creates Direct Forgiveness Portal for Eligible PPP Borrowers

Beginning Aug. 4, the U.S. Small Business Administration is launching a portal that will allow borrowers of certain Paycheck Protection Program loans to streamline the process of loan forgiveness by applying for forgiveness directly through the SBA.

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DOL’s Decision to Rescind 2020 Joint Employer Final Rule Disappointing, But Not Surprising

On July 29, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule to rescind the 2020 Joint Employer Status under the Fair Labor Standards Act rule, which goes into effect on Sept. 28, 2021.

 

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President Biden Announces New Actions to Vaccinate More People

On July 29, President Biden announced during a press conference that every federal government employee and on-site contractor will be asked to attest to their vaccination status. According to a White House fact sheet, anyone who does not attest to being fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask on the job no matter their geographic location, physically distance from all other employees and visitors, comply with a weekly or twice weekly screening testing requirement and be subject to restrictions on official travel.

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ABC Advocates for Fair and Open Competition as U.S. Senators Vote to Advance Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

On July 28, U.S. senators voted to advance a bipartisan infrastructure bill, which will set up a final vote on the measure in the coming days. The procedural motion was approved 67-32, with 17 Republicans joining all Democrats to begin legislative action.

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NLRB Finds Union Inflatables and Bannering Do Not Violate Federal Labor Law

On July 21, the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision in Lippert Components Inc. 371 NLRB No. 8 (2021), finding that a union did not violate the National Labor Relations Act through its use of inflatables and banners intended to target employers.

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Jennifer Abruzzo Sworn in as New NLRB General Counsel

On July 22, the National Labor Relations Board swore in Jennifer Abruzzo to serve as general counsel for a four-year term. This occurred after the U.S. Senate confirmed Abruzzo on July 21 by a vote of 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote. Prior to her appointment, Abruzzo most recently served as Special Counsel for Strategic Initiatives for Communications Workers of America and as and a former acting general counsel for the NLRB in 2017.

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U.S. DOL Announces Proposed Rule to Raise the Minimum Wage to $15 for Federal Contractors

On July 21, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a proposed rule that would require federal contractors to pay a $15 minimum wage to workers  on or in connection with a federal government contract. The public has until Aug. 23 to comment on the proposal.  

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ABC Underscores the Negative Impact of Encouraging Government-Mandated PLAs in Treasury Rulemaking

On July 15, ABC submitted comments in response to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s interim final rule encouraging project labor agreements and other anti-competitive and costly labor policies on certain state and local projects funded by the American Recovery Plan Act of 2021. 

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OSHA Provides Additional Resources to Prevent Heat Illness and Death on Construction Jobsites

On July 15, Occupational Safety and Health Administration released additional materials to educate the workforce on heat illness prevention.

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ABC Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter Helps Address Workforce Shortage With ‘Let’s Build Camp for Girls’

From June 21-25, ABC’s Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter held its fifth “Let’s Build Construction Camp for Girls” at Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School to introduce girls ages 12-18 to the construction trades, architecture, engineering and construction product manufacturing through hands-on experiences and field trips.

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New Report Shows Costly Impact of PRO Act on Millions of Workers

On July 12, the Institute for the American Worker released a new report highlighting the impact of the so-called Protecting the Right to Organize, or PRO Act, on millions of America’s workers.

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OSHA Releases Updated COVID-19 Guide

On July 12, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Alliance program released an updated guide containing COVID-19 guidance and resources for employers from a variety of agencies including the DOL, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, the guide includes input from industry groups on best practices for COVID-19 safety in the workplace.

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President Biden Issues Far-Reaching EO on Promoting Competition in America

On July 9, President Biden issued a far-reaching, unprecedented Executive Order on Promoting Competition in America. The executive order covers a wide variety of issues, including lowering prescription drug prices, allowing hearing aids to be sold over the counter at drug stores, banning excessive early termination fees regarding internet service and making it easier for individuals to get airline refunds.

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House Passes ABC-opposed Surface Transportation and Water Infrastructure Bill

On July 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act, by a vote of 221-201. H.R. 3684. This $715 billion surface transportation reauthorization and water infrastructure bill represents House Democrats’ attempt to reauthorize the expiring 2015 FAST Act and implement partisan, anti-merit shop priorities in infrastructure spending.

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OSHA Highlights Resources to Prevent Heat Illness and Death on Construction Jobsites

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than 40% of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry.  As with all incidents, heat illness is entirely preventable, provided you develop and implement simple preventive measures. 

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Biden Administration Circulates Pro-PLA EO for Interagency Review

ABC can confirm recent media reports that President Joe Biden is circulating a draft executive order to federal agencies that will modify and expand President Obama’s Executive Order 13502, which encourages federal agencies to require project labor agreements on a case-by-case basis on federal construction projects exceeding $25 million in total value and permits states and localities to mandate PLAs on federally assisted projects.

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Survey: Voters Alarmed About PRO Act Impacts on Workers’ Rights and Small Businesses

Seven out of 10 voters are concerned about repealing state right-to-work protections for workers and forcing them to pay union dues or risk losing their job, according to a national survey released on June 30 by the ABC-led Coalition for a Democratic Workplace.

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