Monthly Archives: August 2020

Agencies Propose Definition of "Habitat" Related to Endangered and Threatened Species

August 31, 2020

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service are proposing to add a definition of “habitat” to the regulations that implement section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The proposed definition – which would be used in the context of making critical habitat designations – comes following a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that concluded “critical habitat” must first be habitat (Weyerhaeuser Co. v. U.S. FWS, 139 S. Ct. 361 (2018)) (see AGC article).  The Act prohibits adverse modification to “critical habitat” of listed species but it currently does not define “habitat.”   A definition of habitat may help developers and contractors identify and avoid those areas, which would better inform ESA consultations during the planning and permitting process for projects.

 

District Court Vacates 2017 Interior Legal Opinion on Incidental Take of Migratory Birds

August 30, 2020

On Aug. 11, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) invalidated the 2017 Department of the Interior legal opinion (M-37050) that had reversed prior policy by stating that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) does not prohibit incidental take.  The SDNY judge disagreed and concluded the MBTA prohibits take “by any means or in any manner.”  The court’s decision adds a new twist to ongoing efforts at the agency to finalize an AGC-supported rule intended to codify the now vacated legal opinion. 

DOL Releases Guidance on Teleworking Arrangements

August 27, 2020

Clarifies Employers’ Obligations to Track Compensable Hours

U.S. EPA/Corps Release Implementation Tools for Navigable Waters Protection Rule

August 24, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have released new implementation tools for the Navigable Waters Protection Rule that went into effect earlier this summer.  These tools are available online for the public to view and include educational resources, new forms, and “implementation memos” to provide greater clarity and consistency implementing the rule across the country.

NLRB Makes it Easier for Employers to Address Employee Profanity and Other Offensive Conduct

August 24, 2020

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) has revised its standard for determining the lawfulness of an employer’s discipline or discharge of an employee who has engaged in abusive or offensive conduct —including making profane, racist, and sexually unacceptable remarks—in the course of activity otherwise protected under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).

DOL Releases Guidance on Teleworking Arrangements

August 24, 2020

Clarifies Employers’ Obligations to Track Compensable Hours

With telework arrangements expanding in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2020-5 to clarify an employer’s obligation to track the number of hours of compensable work by employees who are teleworking or otherwise working away from premises controlled by their employers.

2020 Construction HR and Training Professionals Conference Goes Virtual

August 24, 2020

Pre-Conference Federal Construction HR Workshop Returns

The 2020 Construction HR and Training Professionals Conference and pre-conference Federal Construction HR Workshop has officially gone virtual.  The workshop is scheduled for September 23 and 24, with the full conference to follow on October 6, 7 and 8.

Construction Employment Declines from June to July in 26 States and D.C. as Projects Are Canceled; AGC Calls for New Relief Steps

August 21, 2020

California and New Mexico Have Worst One-Month Job Losses While New York Has Largest Increases; California and Vermont Post Worst Yearly Declines as Utah and South Dakota Have Largest Gains

AGC Opposes Suspension/Repeal of Highway Trust Fund User Fees

August 20, 2020

On August 18, AGC, along with 14 other stakeholders in the transportation community, called on President Trump to oppose any temporary suspension or permanent repeal of dedicated federal user fees that generate revenue for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).

AGC Works to Unite Transportation Stakeholder Community

August 20, 2020

Calls for One-Year Surface Transportation Extension with Additional Funds

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