Monthly Archives: March 2019

DOL Proposes Update to Regular Rate of Pay Regulations

March 29, 2019

The U. S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) today announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) updating the regulations governing regular rate requirements for the first time in more than 50 years. Regular rate requirements define what forms of payment employers include and exclude in the "time and one-half" calculation when determining workers' overtime rates. The proposed rule focuses primarily on clarifying whether certain kinds of perks, benefits, or other miscellaneous items must be included in the regular rate. Because these regulations have not been updated in decades, the proposal’s intent is to better define the regular rate for today's workplace practices.

OFCCP Lowers VEVRAA Hiring Benchmark

March 27, 2019

Today the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) hiring benchmark for 2019. Effective March 31, 2019, the hiring benchmark will be 5.9 percent, down from 6.4 percent in 2018.  This benchmark is an annual goal for the percentage of hires who are veterans at each affirmative action plan (AAP) establishment.

AGC-Backed DERA Authorization Bill Introduced in Senate

March 26, 2019

On March 12, a bipartisan group of senators—led by Tom Carper (D-DE) and John Barrasso (R-WY)—introduced an AGC-backed bill to reauthorize the Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA) program.  The bill would provide $100 million annually through fiscal year 2024 for grants and rebates to states and localities to upgrade or replace older diesel engines, including off-road construction equipment.  AGC chapters – working with AGC of America – have won millions in federal funds to support AGC members’ voluntary retrofit projects, in addition to leveraging millions more in matching and in-kind contributions to help their members afford the high cost of reducing emissions from construction equipment.

NLRB Decides Unions Can't Force Nonmembers to Pay for Lobbying Expenses

March 22, 2019

The National Labor Relations Board (the “NLRB” or “Board”) on March 1 issued an opinion expanding the rights of “Beck objectors” –  i.e., those employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement but who choose not to become a member of the union. 

Is Scabby the Rat Headed for a Deflating Experience?

March 18, 2019

Construction contractors are all-too familiar with Scabby the Rat. The inflatable rat – appearing in sizes of up to a reported 30 feet tall – has infested construction job sites as part of trade union protest activities targeting employers that are not signatory to union labor agreements. Unions use the rat as an attention-grabber and a signal that an employer is using non-union labor. Construction employers will want to keep an eye on legal developments regarding the rat this year, including a recent federal circuit court decision and the potential for the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) to modify its approach to disputes involving Scabby.

Ruling Makes It Easier to Classify Workers as Independent Contractors Under the NLRA

March 18, 2019

In a significant ruling that will benefit companies, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) recently revised the test it uses for determining whether workers are employees or independent contractors under the National Labor Relations Act making it easier for entities to classify them as contractors. The decision in the case, SuperShuttle DFW, Inc., throws a roadblock into unionization efforts involving such workers, as federal law does not permit independent contractors to unionize or join forces with employees in organizing efforts. What do employers need to know about this development?

Construction Employment Increases in 275 out of 358 Metro Areas from January 2018 to January 2019; 39 Areas Experience Construction Job Losses

March 15, 2019

Construction employment grew in 275, or 76 percent, out of 358 metro areas between January 2018 and January 2019, declined in 39 (11 percent) and was unchanged in 44, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said demand for construction in most parts of the country appears to be outstripping the supply of qualified workers to hire.

Construction Employment Increases in 44 States from January 2018 to January 2019; 33 States Add Jobs in Latest Month as Association Calls for Investing in Training

March 11, 2019

Forty-four states added construction jobs between January 2018 and January 2019, while 33 states added construction jobs between December and January, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data released today. Association officials cautioned that the employment gains may not last without an increase in the number of people trained for construction careers.

National Construction Charity Donates $265,000 to Renovate Historic Dairy Barn to Serve as New Headquarters for Veterans' Support Group

March 8, 2019

AGC Charities Inc., the charitable arm of the Associated General Contractors of America, donated $265,000 today to fund a new “National Healing Quarters” for Warrior Canine Connection. The funds will help cover the cost of renovating a historic dairy barn in Boyds, Maryland to serve as the new headquarters for the group that provides therapy for veterans with invisible wounds like PTSD and service dogs for other wounded veterans.

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