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On June 3, Reps. Clay Higgins, R-La., and Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., hosted a briefing on the use of project labor agreements and the effects on the American construction workforce. Ben Brubeck, ABC vice president of regulatory, labor and state affairs, joined other state and industry stakeholders to discuss the Biden administration’s final rule mandating PLAs on federal construction projects of $35 million or more that went into effect on Jan. 22.

ABC’s Massachusetts chapter and a coalition of merit shop contractors successfully blocked the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission’s plan for a project labor agreement mandate on a $325 million water filtration plant.

On May 14, ABC joined a broad group of trade associations in filing an amicus brief in support of plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief against the Federal Trade Commission’s final rule to ban noncompete clauses. Injunctive relief is appropriate and necessary to avoid the immediate and irreparable harm the FTC’s final rule would impose on the hundreds of thousands of American businesses—like construction companies—that appropriately rely on narrowly tailored noncompetes.

On April 23, the Federal Trade Commission voted 3-2 to issue its final rule to ban noncompete clauses. The rule is effective Sept. 4, 2024.

On May 1, the Council on Environmental Quality issued its final rule on National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Regulations Revisions Phase 2. The final rule implements wide-ranging changes that will add unnecessarily burdensome and costly provisions to the federal environmental review and permitting process.

On April 23, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its final rule on overtime, which will change overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The final rule increases the minimum annual salary level threshold for exemption in two phases: from the current level of $35,568 to $43,888 on July 1, 2024, and to $58,656 on Jan. 1, 2025. In addition, the threshold for highly compensated employees will be increase from the current threshold of $107,432 to $132,964 on July 1 and then to $151,164 on Jan. 1. Further, salary thresholds will update every three years starting on July 1, 2027.

On March 18, ABC submitted 45 pages of comments on the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed rule making significant and controversial revisions to the National Apprenticeship System, which will affect ABC members, chapters, apprentices and other industry stakeholders participating in government-registered apprenticeship programs, or GRAPs.

On March 8, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas vacated the National Labor Relations Board’s 2023 Joint Employer Final Rule and the Board’s rescission of the ABC-supported 2020 Joint Employer Final Rule. Under the court’s decision, the 2020 final rule, which provides clear criteria for companies to apply when determining their joint employer status, remains in effect today. ABC opposed the 2023 final rule, which was scheduled to go into effect on March 11.

On March 5, ABC, its Southeast Texas chapter and additional plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas arguing that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee or Independent Contractor Classification Under the Fair Labor Standards Act final rule is unlawful and a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. The rule goes into effect on March 11.

On March 1, the U.S. Department of Labor sent its Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees final rule to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget for final review. The rule would alter overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The review at the OIRA is usually the final step in the process before a rule is officially published in the Federal Register. ABC will be meeting with the OIRA to express its serious concerns about the rule.

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