Federal/Heavy

September 1, 2020

Steep monthly declines in public and private nonresidential construction spending offset a surge in homebuilding in July, while industry employment decreased compared to July 2019 levels in two-thirds of the nation’s metro areas, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government data released today.

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.

 

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. 

August 27, 2020

Clarifies Employers’ Obligations to Track Compensable Hours

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.

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”).

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.

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.

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

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